Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Game 6 – Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche


Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Another home game and another rally for the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night in Game 6.

Nathan MacKinnon‘s overtime winner propelled the Avs to a 3-2 series lead over the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It was the third overtime game of the series with Colorado netting two wins.

But all the heroics aside, the Avs took care of business on home ice when they needed a win. The next step is a good performance on the road in the playoffs and that chance comes on Monday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild have dominated in its building. Minnesota has out-shot Colorado 78-34 in Games 3 and 4. The Wild netted two one-goal wins to even the series before the Avs pulled out a win on Saturday.

The home team has dictated the pace and play of each game in this highly contested series. If the Avs want to end it in six games, they have to come out with the same fire they have been at the Pepsi Center.

For the first time in two games, the Avs didn’t allow the Wild to blitz them in the opening minutes. That has to be Colorado’s strategy going into Game 6. The Avs don’t have to necessarily score in the first period but put some shots on net and make the Wild defense and goalie Darcy Kuemper work a bit. Kuemper had the easiest job in Game 4.

Then there is the mystery of Matt Duchene. He has skated with the team the last couple days and looks to be inching closer to a return to the ice. Coach Patrick Roy didn’t say yes or no to Duchene playing in Game 6. He would add an instant boost to the the team.

After Sunday’s morning skate, coach Roy said Duchene is yet to do a full practice with the team and they will take a “we’ll see” approach on Monday.

What: Stanley Cup Playoffs 2014: Game 6: Avs vs. Wild

When: Monday, April 28

Where: Xcel Energy Center

Time: 7 p.m. MDT

TV: CNBC/Altitude