As the Minnesota Wild face the Colorado Avalanche in the 1st round of this year’s playoffs, let’s look back at the second time these teams met in the playoffs and see how things turned out then, continuing with Game 2.
The Wild made one change after their defeat in Game 1, with Aaron Voros coming in for Mark Parrish, who had a head injury. Nick Schultz and Kurtis Foster remained sidelined, leaving the Wild spread thin at the blueline with veteran Keith Carney and Sean Hill trying to ease the pressure on Kim Johnsson, Brent Burns, Martin Skoula and Peter Nummelin.
Game 2 (3-2 OT)
The Avs took a 1-0 lead at the end of the 1st period through Peter Forsberg and managed to hold onto that lead until early in the 3rd period when Pavol Demitra converted on the powerplay to tie it up. After that, Mikko Koivu put the team on his back and it seemed only a matter of time until the Wild took the lead and, sure enough, with less than two minutes remaining, Koivu capitalized on a turnover at the Colorado blueline and blasted a shot past Jose Theodore.
The Wild thought they had won it but, when Kim Johnsson took a hooking penalty with just over a minute to go, the Avalanche were given a late chance to score a tying goal and Milan Hedjuk obliged, deflecting a John-Micheal Liles shot through Backstrom’s legs.
At this point, there was concern that the Wild would be too fatigued to compete in overtime but, luckily, OT was over before it began, with veteran defenceman Keith Carney scoring the winner after just over a minute. He pounced on a loose puck and let loose with a slap shot just outside the faceoff circle that glanced off a skate and squeaked past Jose Theodore.
“It was tough because we thought we had the game won there in the third, a questionable call on the penalty, but we just talked about refocusing and not letting that beat us,” Carney said. “Just continuing to play our game and do the right things on the ice. We felt if we did that then we’d get the right result.”
1) Keith Carney
2) Niklas Backstrom
3) Peter Forsberg
Follow me on Twitter for more Wild talk and analysis.