Wild suffer third-period collapse
ST. PAUL -- Nathan MacKinnon scored midway through the third period, completing a furious comeback for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-2 NHL victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.Trailing 2-0 in the third period, M...
ST. PAUL - Nathan MacKinnon scored midway through the third period, completing a furious comeback for the Colorado Avalanche in a 3-2 NHL victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Trailing 2-0 in the third period, Mikko Rantanen and Carl Soderberg tied the score before MacKinnon’s game-winner completed the comeback. It was the second time in two weeks that the Avalanche (8-9) have beaten Minnesota.
The Wild’s Charlie Coyle and Tyler Graovac scored goals and they seemed to be comfortably in control before losing for the second time in the past three games.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk had 31 saves for Minnesota (9-7-1). His Colorado counterpart, Calvin Pickard, blanked the Wild on Nov. 5 in Denver and had 41 saves Saturday.
MacKinnon, who has struggled to score this season, carried the puck into the Minnesota zone from the far blue line and used Wild defenseman Mike Reilly as a screen, firing a low shot past Dubnyk that the goalie didn’t see in time to react.
It was just the fourth goal of the season for MacKinnon, who signed a seven-year, $44 million contract with Colorado last summer.
Minnesota scored on its first power-play opportunity. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon’s cross-ice pass deflected first off Coyle’s stick and then off the skate of Colorado defenseman Patrick Wiercioch into the lower right corner of the net.
The Wild nearly doubled their lead on a later power play when defenseman Ryan Suter’s long-range shot hit the post.
Neither team scored again in the first period, but it was not for lack of effort. The teams combined for 41 shots on goal, with Minnesota holding a 21-20 edge, in the opening 20 minutes. That was a franchise record for the Wild in an opening period.
Colorado came within inches of tying the score early in the second period when a scramble in front of Dubnyk found Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie alone with the puck and the goalie out of position. But Barrie’s shot at a wide-open net also hit the post.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead a short time later. Graovac was knocked down at the top of the crease but still managed to pop a shot up and over Pickard. It was the second goal of the season for Graovac, who has split his time between the Wild and their American Hockey League team in Iowa.
Colorado found a way past Dubnyk early in the third period, snapping his shutout streak at 156 minutes. MacKinnon zipped a cross-ice pass to Rantanen, who popped a low shot into the net before the goalie could slide across the crease.
The Avalanche tied the score a few minutes later on Soderberg’s third goal of the season. With Colorado on a power play, Soderberg’s first shot was blocked by Suter and his second was stopped by Dubnyk, but he managed to lift a third shot over the goalie to even the score.
- Minnesota was without LW Zach Parise because of illness. Parise has missed seven of the team’s last nine games, the first six because of a foot injury suffered in a victory at Buffalo on Oct. 27.
Colorado 3, Minnesota 2
Colorado 0 0 3- 3
Minnesota 1 1 0- 2
First Period-1, Minnesota, Coyle 5 (Spurgeon, Suter) 8:32 (pp).
Second Period-2, Minnesota, Graovac 2 (Brodin, Dumba) 6:34.
Third Period-3, Colorado, Rantanen 2 (MacKinnon, Barrie) 3:51. 4, Colorado, Soderberg 3 (Iginla, Rantanen) 6:48 (pp). 5, Colorado, MacKinnon 4 (unassisted) 9:20.
Shots on Goal-Colorado 20-7-7-34. Minnesota 21-11-11-43.
Power-play opportunities-Colorado 0 of 1. Minnesota 1 of 4.
Goalies-Colorado Pickard 3-1-0 (40 shots-38 saves). Minnesota Dubnyk 7-5-1 (34-31).
A-19,238 (18,064). T-2:43.