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Avalanche win in OT, complete third-period comeback

Apr 18, 2014, 12:53 AM EDT

The Colorado Avalanche looked buried. The Minnesota Wild looked in control. Not so fast. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs, after all.

The Avalanche erased a two-goal third-period and then won by a final score of 5-4 in overtime. Paul Stastny, who scored with 14 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to extra time, also recorded the winner.

Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy, showing no hesitancy for a bold move when he thought necessary, pulled Semyon Varlamov in favor of the extra attacker with over 2:30 remaining in the third period as Colorado searched for the equalizer.

No guts, no glory, as the saying goes.

“We almost did it at four minutes. That went through our minds,” said Roy of his decision to pull Varlamov for the extra skater.

“At one point they had their third pairing on the ice, and it was ‘should we take a shot at it,’ but I thought it was really pushing it, but at the same time you have to go with your gut feeling.

“This is what the playoffs are – sometimes you have to see things, and I thought that’s what we did as a team.”

Stastny provided that, and then played the hero again in the overtime. The Avalanche now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.

Nathan MacKinnon, making his Stanley Cup playoff debut at just 18 years of age, showed once again why he’s getting such strong consideration for rookie of the year. He had three assists in the win.

The Wild looked to be on their way to a win on the road, taking away home ice advantage, thanks to a two-goal cushion heading into the final period. Minnesota scored three times in the second period to jump ahead of Colorado.

Varlamov made 29 saves for the win.

  1. lordfletcher - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Just a wonderful time to be a Minnesota hockey fan

    Need something to punch…. Repeatedly

    • lordfletcher - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      #$&$@$&$#%&–(((-%35′:##”:+&!!!!!!!!!!!##%@23%’$3′-+;$4-;&66

      AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      FRICKEN GAAAAAHHHHH ^!@#^!@# &!@#&!@#*&!@#&!@#!(!&*&@$#%(

  2. credible316 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to type and vomit at the same time.

  3. govtminion - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    That… was one of the most amazing endings to a hockey game I have ever seen.

    Roy pulling Varlamov early… Johnson stopping that empty-netter… Stastny deciding to just take over and go to OT, and why not end it early in OT too while he’s at it… I still can’t breathe. GO AVS!!!

    • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      Stastny? yeah! He scored, but both plays were started my McKinnon. This kid is absolutely amazing for an 18 year old.

      • avscup - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Best teenager on the planet!

  4. mrhyperpants - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Wooooooooooo! Oh yes! Oh yes!

  5. slickvb82 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Enjoy the gift Avs fans cause you got outplayed all game and you won’t win this series playing like that. Its one game!! GO WILD!!!!!

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      truth

      • spoon9z - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        so off

        the momentum changed many times in this close game and I was actually surprised any team ever got up two goals

        the Avs sat back in the second and it cost them just as the same thing happened in the third to the Wild. the one thing that was nice to see was how hard and often the whole Av team was hitting! i think they had over 40 hits and worked hard even when they went into a defensive shell. can’t do that. this team needs to keep its up tempo game going and not give in to the wild’s style. if they do, they’ll lose bc their D is much better. Yet if Varly showed up in this game it would have been much easier. i suspect he will in game two, but man I am expecting another great game.

    • polegojim - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      The Avs never stopped and played gutsy hockey til the end.

      You’re wrong…. That’s how series ARE won… And lost… just as you enjoyed last night.

    • avscup - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Outplayed? Not on the scoreboard. Avs outplayed the mild in the 1st and 3rd and OT! You need a better goalie.

      Down 4-2, we had right where we wanted you.

      • slickvb82 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        The only time we were outplayed was the first ten minutes when the Avs were flying around like goons. There was no other point of the game, especially OT. Even your HC said you got outplayed most of the game AND OT.

      • salvij - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        slickvb82 – We all know coaches speak honestly with no psychological hidden agendas when commenting about their opponent to the media during Stanley Cup playoffs.

        Maybe it helps to look at it this way; Wild won the second period, Avs won the game.

    • avscup - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Avs didn’t play so well but MN won’t win the series playing like that either. Bryz is aweful! Avs will play much better.

      • slickvb82 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        Bryz actually played pretty well, better than the rapist. There is one simple thing that doomed the Wild, turnovers. Plain and simple. The Avs should have brought Brodziak and Spurgean out for dinner and a night on the town, hooked em up with some Colorado tang.

  6. guitarisgood4u - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:09 AM

    Okay, I gotta ask.
    Why was the almost empty netter not a delay of game, like was called on Koivu earlier in the game? If the Avalanche player does not dislodge the net, Cooke almost certainly scores… but instead the Avs are blessed with a neutral zone faceoff?
    I didn’t see the Koivu penalty (or maybe it was on Bryz?) but…????????????????
    I don’t wanna be one of those guys that blames it on the ref, but WTF was that?!

    • getadealdonealready - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:36 AM

      I’ll start by saying the blame needs to fall solely on the team, thought the approach in the 3rd was too passive, especially with the empty net. Two misplays in our D zone led to the 3rd and 4th goal, that can’t happen when trying to run clock in the playoffs.

      However I hope we get an explanation on the non-delay call. In a normal game I don’t think that is the call, but when you make the call earlier in the game on Koivu when there was contact, you have to make that call when there is no contact, especially when the loose puck was on Cooke’s stick with an empty net. Also in question late with empty net Suter gets stick broken out of face-off by slash, and picks were allowed all night. Again that isn’t the reason for the collapse, and I don’t want to make excuses, but frustrated with my team, and felt the officials didn’t do us any favors tonight.

      • pxland - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM

        I can’t understand what you guys don’t get. Koivu pushed the net off from a dead stop to try to stop play (maybe not a dead stop, but watch the arms extend on the replay), EJ’s momentum carried him into the net after the save. He wasn’t trying to throw the net off in a desperate attempt to stop play like Koivu.

        Now, if you want to talk about something, talk about cooke shooting the puck at EJ after the play was dead and he was in the net. Dangerous, deliberate, and unnecessary.

      • spiciercheez - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        pxland, you are an idiot. that is all.

      • pxland - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        LOL.

        A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who delays the game by deliberately displacing a goal post from its normal position. The Referee shall stop play immediately when the offending team gains possession of the puck.

        In the event that a goalpost is deliberately displaced by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee shallassess a minor penalty for delaying the game if the attacking player has not yet taken the shot or in the act of taking the shot at the open net (see 63.6).

        When the net is accidentally displaced by an attacking player, and the defending side is in possession of the puck and moving out of their zone, play shall be permitted to continue until such time as the non-offending team loses possession of the puck. The resulting face-off will take place at a face-off spot in the zone nearest the location where the play was stopped, unless it is in the non-offending team’s defending zone, and as such the ensuing face-off would be outside the blue line at one of the face-off spots in the neutral zone. It is possible for a goal to be scored at one end of the rink while the net at the other end has been dislodged, provided that the team being scored upon is the team responsible for dislodging the net at the other end of the rink.

  7. wildfan247 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:16 AM

    Bryz has to play better than he did tonight. Plus if/when we have a 2 goal lead we need to keep the pressure on and play to win, not to lose.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:27 AM

      Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t have saved some of those goals. The Wild’s D just got outplayed and the Avs had multiple open scoring chances.

      Bryz wasn’t perfect but he was by no means the scape goat. The defense on the game tying goal was laughable. Parise was lost. Sutter looked gassed. LOL Still trying to figure out what Brodziak was doing…

      3 Avs end the play all alone by Bryz.

      Horrid.

      • clarke16 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:48 AM

        Yup–this game was hardly on Bryz. The one goal was on Brodziak and the other’s were on the D not properly managing the front of the net. Walz seemed happy to blame it all on Bryz–but that just shows why he is nothing more than a studio hockey analyst for a regional sports channel…

        They clean that up–and they win this series. The Wild is the better team.

  8. ryanoffski - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    What a fun game to be at. Loudest avs game in 10 years. But man we got outplayed, and that’s an understatement.

  9. clarke16 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    Disappointing outcome–but hardly a disillusionary game from the Wild… Think about it… Opening game on the road. Division winners and #2 seed in the conference. One of the hottest goalies in the league–and they came to PLAY, my friends. If that same game is played by both teams over a seven game series–the series won’t even go seven games… Have heart, Wild fans… Our team brought the better game tonight over four lines–and sometimes you lose those games. Game 2 will show what the Wild is made of… If they deserve it–it will happen.

    Congrats to the Avs for coming back and gutting out an impressive W….but like an 17 year old at the prom–you might have shot your load before the band has warmed up…

    • mackattack29 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:39 AM

      You guys were the better team for the 2nd period… lol don’t get ahead of yourselves…

      • clarke16 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:54 AM

        The 2nd period wasn’t even a contest. As the game wore on–the Avs were more and more outplayed. The final session was pure Wild–until the breakdown that led to the winner. Like I said–fine game. Congrats. But you team is going to need to bring more than that to win this series…and BTW–all I heard all week is what a wall your goalie is… Uhhhh–that would be a NO. No fear there no mo’

  10. mackattack29 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Minnesota was supposed to be the ones with good defense? Lol avs proving the naysayers wrong every single gsme. Haha this will be a sweep once varly gets passed his nerves and doesn’t let in some of those goals and once are team makes sure we don’t try to match their playing style like we did in the 2nd. When we play our kind of game the wild just don’t have a chance.

  11. mp1131211 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    Cooke should have put the game winner in. Delay of game, face off to the side of the net. WTF?!?!??!!!!!!

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      ridiculous sheit, gotta call it both ways refs

    • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      Delay of game? Where? Was the net purposely dislodged? If you think so, then you re clearly unable to watch a game with objectivity.

      Rule 63 A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player who delays the game by deliberately displacing a goal post from its normal position. The Referee shall stop play immediately when the offending team
      gains possession of the puck.

      • kopy - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        Even if it wasn’t delay of game, I’d like to know why the ensuing face-off was outside of the zone.

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Because the Wild d were involved in the scrum.

        Rule 76.2 Faceoff Location
        Following a stoppage of play, should one or both defensemen who are the point players or any player coming from the bench of the attacking team, enter into the attacking zone beyond the outer edge of
        the end zone face-off circle during an altercation, gathering or “scrum,” the ensuing face-off shall take place in the neutral zone near the blue line of the defending team.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Joey,

        I’m not saying it was deliberate, but one could certainly argue that it was. Think about it this way, did anybody force him into the net? He could have slowed down before he hit the net if he was truly trying to avoid it.

        That being said, I don’t think it was a penalty. But you have to admit, if the roles were reversed and that happened to your team, you wouldn’t be happy about it.

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        He’s intent was to get to the puck before it crossed the line, as opposed to being focused on not dislodging the net. Once he saved the goal he was too close to the net to avoid it, and thus not deliberate. I don’t have a preferred team in the SC playoffs, which allows me to remain objective. I would say so if I thought it was deliberate.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        I understand that, that’s why I said it’s not deliberate. You’re not the only person here who can be objective.

        That said, I’ve always thought it should be a penalty regardless of intent. Not just in an empty net situation, but if you’re not pushed into the net and you dislodge it, that should be a penalty in my book. Then we can take opinions out of it. Who’s to say he didn’t do it intentionally? Like flopping, some are just good at selling it.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        And just to be clear, in this case I don’t truly believe he meant to dislodge the net. In the end though, it cost the other team a goal. That’s why I believe it should be a penalty.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        I propose it’s a penalty either way. Reason is, I don’t want a ref having to judge intent, I like rules that are black and white.

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        I guess that means you like the delay of game rule for shooting the puck over the glass regardless of intent.

        I think they have to consider the dynamics of the game. Some things are unavoidable playing a game that fast in a confined environment, and it would be unfair to penalize a player/team for these ccurrences.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        I do like the delay of game rule, regardless of intent. Again, I don’t want a ref having to get inside the mind of a player. Players have shown, they’ll flop, cheat, lie, do whatever it takes to win a game. I don’t want a ref having to decide what a player intended to do.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Some could say that tripping is, “unavoidable playing a game that fast in a confined environment.” Should that not be a penalty? High sticking typically isn’t intentional, should that not be a penalty?

        Moreover, when a double minor is called, rarely would a player intentionally make a person bleed with an unintentional high stick. Should we do away with double minors as well?

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        Hmmm! A rule change. idk. What do you do in the case where a player falls batting for the puck on the back check and slides into the net which causes it to be dislodged?

      • getadealdonealready - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        deliberate in the fact that Johnson made no attempt to avoid contact with the net. He made a nice play to get puck, and in doing so made sure he got the net as well, because he had no idea who/was behind him.

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        getadealdonealready, Do you seriously think he could have stopped the puck a few inches from the goal line and avoid making contact with the net while skating at full speed?

      • mp1131211 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Garbage

      • spoon9z - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        tved, there was almost no way to avoid the net on that one. it was either going to be a goal or the crazy game saving play you witnessed.

        and you are clearly not remembering the play so clearly, bc Barrie was right there, AHEAD OF COOKE and surely would have been able to get in the way of a shot if not stopped it ENTIRELY if he had not veered off and continued well past Cooke as the puck went right by him bc the REF NOT ONLY WAIVED IT OFF BUT BLEW THE WHISTLE LOUD AND CLEAR AS DAY. Cooke only shot that bc that’s who he is, an eternal piece of S, PERIOD. It wasn’t a penalty and if anything blame your own team for the dumb and dangerous shot at a guy in the net and the ensuing jumping in by guys from your bench to help aid the puck out of the Av’s defensive end.

  12. jaydynamite - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Never count the Avs out! For all the people who say the Wild played better, the Avs have had horrible puck possession numbers all year, but all they do is win games.

  13. tklind - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    I am a disgusted Wild fan. Every one is saying we outplayed the Avs and we are the better team. I say, if we played so good and still can’t win, we are not going to win this series. I am sick and tired of this coaching staff. The defense gave up the third period goals and part of the blame is that Yeo plays our best defensive players too much in the first two periods, so that by the end of the game they have nothing left. How many minutes did Sutter play? 54? Ridiculous coaching. How many times do we outplay an opponent and lose. My prediction–the Avs in 6 games. Maybe then we will fired Yeo and get a veteran coach with a proven track record.

    • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Wow, take it easy buddy. How is the turnover by Brodziak the defenses fault? That was terrible and not on the defense at all.

      Also, this team has overachieved with their roster this year. Look at the West, it’s stacked. We had many of our best players out for a good chunk of the year. The defense has been solid this year, guys are improving, but why would we give the coaching staff any credit for that?

      Get off the ledge man, Wild have a great opportunity to win this series and they showed they can last night.

    • clarke16 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      tklind– How about some STFU already? You’re obviously a fair-weather fan who has no hockey IQ. Move on to ladies synchronized swimming…

  14. dbfan4ever - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Johnson was racing to get to the puck and cleared it away from the path of the net so the nonsense about scoring if the net is dislodged is nonsense. Secondly, Johnson could not stop his momentum and if you see it on the replay Johnson actually contorts his body to try to avoid dislodging the net. For a penalty to be called it has to be intentional! As for Bryzgalov he will be having nightmares of Stasny lurking around his net! Go AVS!!!!

  15. davekillercarlson - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    To all the Minny fans complaining about EJ sliding into the net when he saved that empty net goal, you’d think that being “the hockey state” and all, you would know the rules. He clearly wasn’t deliberately pushing the net off to keep the goal from happening. In the sequence of events he first cleared the puck out, tried to stop, then hit the net and it came off the pegs. That’s definitely not a penalty. But keep looking through those christmas-color glasses you guys have on.

    Also keep telling yourselves that Minny outplaed the Avs. Shots were pretty much even, and the Avs took control of the game when it mattered. They came out faster and had a better first period. If not for the lucky bounce off Avs’ D for the 1st goal, Avs would have been up 1-0. I won’t deny that the Avs’ were outplayed in the 2nd, but that doesn’t matter much when the Avs’ played better when it counted most.

    You guys will be lucky to score 4 again on us this series, Varly had an off night. Bryz is only a few goals away from a melt down, btw he almost let in one from center ice. So let’s unbunch your panties’ Minny fans with all this “we outplayed you” talk.

    • clarke16 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Yeah–OK…if you say so–*Killer* Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

    • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      To all the Avs fans with your heads in your a**es, watch the whole game next time. Luck bounce off the Avs d? Odd, why don’t you watch the replay and you’ll see a rebound that Parise pokes away from 2 defenders so Coyle could hit that shot.

      The Wild were playing better than the Avs the entire 3rd period until they pulled their goalie. There’s no excuse for the turnover Brodziak had on the 3rd goal for the Avs, the don’t get much more gift wrapped then that.

      As for “Varly” (he must be your buddy to have such a gay nickname) he got beat bad last night. That supposed “wall” looked more like a rickety old fence that needed work.

  16. dbfan4ever - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    It is only downhill from here for Wild fans just wait until the AVS top scorer returns from injury in gm 3!

    • clarke16 - Apr 19, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      How’s that workin’ out for ya? LOL

  17. dbfan4ever - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    A Wild fan wants to talk about stupid nickname?! Bro, your team nickname is the Wild! It doesn’t get any dumber than that!

    • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      I can’t argue that it’s a stupid name, but it’s not a nickname, it’s their proper name. I can promise you that I didn’t vote for that, so it’s not voluntary. On the other hand, I would never call a friend or acquaintance of mine, “Varly” by choice. Thanks for your input d(ouche)b(ag)fan4ever.

      • avscup - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        tved12 (what a gay nickname) are you a Mild fan with your head up your azz? EJ gave up a turnover that led to MN’s 4th goal. They don’t get much more gift wrapped than that.

        I will admit the Mild played ok and at times certainly did outplay the AVS, but you are missing a huge part of sport! The team with the last goal in OT wins!

        Deal with it.

      • tved12 - Apr 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        I’m not missing anything, I realize they lost. In what part of any of my comments did you get the misconception that I thought the Wild won? Reading comprehension, it’s a lost art, you should try some time.

        The Wild played ok at times? Then the Avs must have been playing like garbage because the Wild were giving it to them for most of the game. But, we’ll see how the series pans out. I’m confident you’ll be eating crow in about a week. (I hope that wasn’t over your head)

  18. mackattack29 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    It is not surprising how upset Minny fans are. But man… Some of you need to pump the brakes. You are giving a terrible representation of ur fanbase. Really seems like you guys don’t have a clue and should immediately give up being called the state of hockey. At this point I feel like I could have a more intelligent hockey conversation with someone from mexico.

  19. spoon9z - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    teams that work cause mistakes by the other team and both did this throughout the game at different times when they controlled things. no one team ever took full control of this one, but Minny had a shot after the 2nd. the wild may have helped the Avs early in the third get it going, but they sure did turn it up and cause a ton of their own good bounces with hard work and persistence. Varly, yes Varly, finally looked his norm late and locked it down which also was needed to even think of coming back. score one, at any moment and the Avs are buried, wild couldn’t finish them and the Avs showed once again just how dangerous they can be in almost any situation.

    I truly think the teams are pretty evenly matched with some nods in each team’s direction in different areas, but the huge hole for Minny IS in net. Too bad you don’t have Harding bc he’s an inspiration and was such a good story. Seems he has a pretty aggressive form of MS or the meds he’s on are way too harsh, probably Tysabri or one of the new pills. Bc I think if he was there and healthy it very well might have tipped this series in the Wild’s favor.

    I’m no Wild fan, but I am a huge Harding fan. Look up his charity, Harding’s Hope, if you’re a charitable person looking for a great cause linked to a great guy and the sport we all love.

    Looking forward to Game #2! See you there!

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