Apr 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) and center Paul Stastny (26) are congratulated for a score against the Minnesota Wild in the first period during game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Game 7 - Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche

Well, game six didn’t go as Colorado planned as Minnesota came away with the 5-2 win, padding the lead late with a couple of empty-net goals. Now the two teams head into game seven, looking to advance to the next round and take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Even though the score looked like the Wild controlled the game, it wasn’t like that. Colorado actually played very well, better than they had in the prior two games in the Xcel Energy Center. The addition of Matt Duchene certainly helped as the center made his first appearance of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs after being out since Mar. 29th with an MCL injury. His speed may not be up to par with what it usually is, but he made a difference on the power-play unit. Matt would record his first point of the playoffs on an assist to teammate Nick Holden in the second period.

Also, even though Colorado was down 2-0 in the first period, the team didn’t lose their step. They answered back with two unanswered goals from Paul Stastny on the short-handed attempt and Nick Holden in the second period to tie it up. They did a much better job of getting shot on Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, tying the Wild in shots on goal with 23.

Colorado now has the ultimate advantage of all, back at home in Denver with home-ice advantage. They are currently 3-0 at home during this series with the Wild, opposed to 0-3 on the road in St. Paul.

Projected Wild Pairings:

Line 1: Matt MoulsonMikko KoivuCharlie Coyle
Line 2: Zach PariseMikael GranlundJason Pominville
Line 3: Nino NiederreiterErik HaulaJustin Fontaine
Line 4: Dany HeatleyKyle BrodziakCody McCormick

Defensive Pairings:

Pair 1: Ryan SuterJonas Brodin
Pair 2: Marco ScandellaJared Spurgeon
Pair 3: Clayton StonerNate Prosser

Starting Goaltender:

Darcy Kuemper

Projected Avalanche Pairings:

Line 1: Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – Nathan MacKinnon
Line 2: Ryan O’Reilly – Matt Duchene – P.A. Parenteau
Line 3: Jamie McGinn – Joey Hishon – Max Talbot
Line 4: Cody McLeodMarc-Andre ClichePatrick Bordeleau

Defensive Pairs:

Pair 1: Jan HejdaErik Johnson
Pair 2: Nick Holden – Andre Benoit
Pair 3: Ryan WilsonNate Guenin

Starting Goaltender:

Semyon Varlamov

Game 7 will begin at approximately 9:30 PM ET, 7:30 PM MT.

Tags: Colorado Avalanche Game 7 Stanley Cup Playoffs 2014

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