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Niederreiter’s winner caps Wild Game 7 vs. Avs

May 1, 2014, 12:56 AM EDT

Nino Niederreiter AP

The Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild put forth a spectacular show tonight. In a game that featured big controversies, shows of perseverance, major injuries, and stunning clutch goals, the Wild managed to eliminate the Avalanche with a 5-4 victory in overtime.

There were so many players worthy of mention in this game, but there’s no question that 21-year-old Wild forward Nino Niederreiter was the hero tonight. He had two goals and an assist, including the game-winning goal in overtime. That’s quite an accomplishment for a player that wasn’t able to establish himself with the team that originally drafted him, the New York Islanders, and was given a chance at a fresh start this season with Minnesota.

Speaking of redemption, 33-year-old forward Dany Heatley has seen his production steeply decline in recent years, to the point where he started this series in the press box. He came up big tonight with a goal and two assists.

Mikko Koivu also found the back of the net for the first time in this series while Charlie Coyle inspired the Wild by returning to the game after being struck in the face by the puck.

The news wasn’t all good for Minnesota though. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who has previously dealt with concussion problems, was hit in the head midway through the third period and left the contest. Ilya Bryzgalov replaced him and, after losing the first two games of this series, was credited as the Game 7 winner.

This has to be a bittersweet end for the Avalanche. There’s no question that they wanted to do better, especially after coming so close to winning the series, but they also exceeded most people’s preseason expectations for them. Rookie Nathan MacKinnon stepped up in the playoffs to get Avalanche fans excited about their future, even if he finished Game 7 with no points and a minus-three rating.

For the Wild, it will only get harder from here as their next opponent is the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

  1. strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    EL NINO would not be denied.

    Great series avs fans, youve got a great team with a bright future.

    Glad the refs ended up not being the determining factor in the series

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      …not for lack of trying…

    • imleftcoast - May 1, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      Great game by the Wild. Spurgon’s goal was a beauty. Avs showed their with some bad penalties.

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I agree, both teams have a bright future! Hell of a series by both teams.

    • sadunc - May 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      not being the determining factor for this game anyways…

  2. killerpgh - May 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Niederreiter for Clutterbuck looks like another mistake by Snow.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      And the majority of Isles fans actually liked that move 6 months ago

      • helloname01 - May 1, 2014 at 1:53 AM

        Thus why the majority of them are isles fans in the first place

    • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Don’t forget that Snow gave up a lot to get Vanek and then traded him for little to nothing. Only to possibly have Vanek join the Wild in the off-season. Fletcher trumps Snow again.

  3. rbbbaron - May 1, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Thanks for not having a video of the GWG

  4. 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Wow! Simply “WOW”
    Good thing that great GM Garth Snow unloaded that bum Nino Niederreiter. What had he done since leaving the Isles? Same genius who unloaded some dude named Chara.

    Garth Snow for HOF.

    • credible316 - May 1, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      Just another rabbit out of the hat of Fletcher.

    • stcrowe - May 1, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Now, there is no question that Garth Snow is a fool, and that he has made some bad moves, but it was Mike Milbury that unloaded Chara. Snow was still a backup goalie when that happened.

      • 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 1:59 AM

        Thanks for clearing that up.

      • 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        But you can’t ever insult The Great Mike Milbury. He’s don everything in his power to give the Islanders a cup. Do the names Alexi Yashin and Rick DiPietro mean anything to you? Those were his few claims to greatness. To put him in the same sentence as Garth Snow is an insult to hockey fans across the globe!!!

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Wasn’t it more the coach who didn’t think Nino played good enough defense and put him on the 4th line? I was happy when we made this trade as I thought Clutterbuck was overrated and cost the Wild more than he helped. Snow had to get what he could for Nino and Fletcher purely fleeced him. Maybe Fletch can trade SV and a 2nd for Tavares now…?????

  5. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 AM

    Lets not forget to take a moment and LOL at Garth Snow

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 AM

      …or congratulate Chuck Fletcher, huh?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

        Sure, he knew a huckleberry when he saw one

  6. Jeff - May 1, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    El Niño justice

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - May 1, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    The Flyers paid 19 players to win tonight …and well only 1 player could win. Bryz won his game while the Flyers didn’t. The goalie change changed that game tonight.

    • strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 AM

      what? bryz faced like 2 shots

      • nothanksimdriving123 - May 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        One shot actually, according to the game box. I’m guessing he’s the first goalie ever to post a 1-save Game 7 OT victory.

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        As Suter said,”it was a series saving save!”

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:10 AM

      Goalie change had exactly nothing to do with it…

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - May 1, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Hahaha what a idiot. Pitpenz at it again with his famous punch lines that lead nowhere. Apparently you didn’t watch the game. I’ve told you before, do your homework before ya talk sh^t, it pays off in the end instead you just prove your a idiot on a daily bases

  8. clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:05 AM

    Great call by Yeo to have Heater in the lineup… You just can’t leave his playoff points off the card for a one game series. HUGE!

    • getadealdonealready - May 1, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Couldn’t be prouder of the boys, and especially coach Yeo. He took a lot of heat this year, and I feel his calm demeanor helped this team weather several storms this year, and this series. Nice win, bring on the Hawks! Hope Kuemper is OK!

    • mjasper24 - May 1, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      Yeah he look good, there were some pre car crash heater moments out there tonight. #toosoon?!?

  9. guitarisgood4u - May 1, 2014 at 1:05 AM


  10. nolockoutpricks - May 1, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    love the heart from my team. not only did they beat the avs they beat the refs every night. what more can you ask for

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:21 AM

      That about sums it up… The composure of this team in the face of adversity and heat leading up to the playoffs and throughout this series has been impressive. This team took the clear step forward we were looking for this season…. Keep it rollin’

  11. vstar1us - May 1, 2014 at 1:06 AM


  12. c9castine - May 1, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    hey garth, whats cal clutterbuck up to?

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 1, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      Practicing checking a dummy into the boards 20 feet away when the puck is 2 inches from him

      • guitarisgood4u - May 1, 2014 at 3:06 AM

        Shooting drills with a target 3 feet above the net.

    • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Wishing he had those temp-star heating commercial checks still rolling in.

  13. yetidad - May 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    Justice served. Yeo did a good job with the young skaters. I have expanded my opinion of his handling abilities. Go Wild!

  14. dremmel69 - May 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    Let’s talk about how much the Avalanche future is bright and not about how the Wild outplayed them.

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      For what? :)

    • greatmiamisportsmind - May 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM

      While the Avs future is bright with MacKinnln and Duchesne, the Wild still have Granlund and Brodin…. Both teams have bright futures

      • iheartharvin - May 1, 2014 at 3:31 AM

        And Nino and Coyle. I expect Coyle to take a big step next season.

      • ignath - May 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

        next season iheartharvin?!? Think Coyle made huge steps THIS season!

    • lordfletcher - May 1, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      Haha. Yeah let’s talk about potential over reality. Pfft. Okay dremmel.

      Colorado’s team does show great promise but anything can happen. I personally expect the Avs to fall in the stan

  15. hardkor07mn - May 1, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Simply Awesome series.
    GO WILD!!!

  16. edinatherealhockeytownusa - May 1, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Better Luck next year Av’s, I’m guessing your a terrible golfer. Enjoy finding another bandwagon to jump on, this ones full, with a Donald Sterling like ban on you. Bring on the Hawks, we played them tough all season, with a winning record against them too I believe.
    3 in a row for Mike Yeo!

    • r8rbhawk - May 1, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      Minny did win three of the five games during the regular season (I had to go back and check since I did not think that was possible). Great showing of intestinal fortitude this whole series against Colorado. Let’s see how they fare against the defending Stanley Cup champs now that the real season has begun.

      • strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 1:53 AM

        haha of course the hawks are a force to be reckoned with, but if anyones up for it right now its the Wild. LEts. GO.

        Wild outplayed them this year, but need to carry that over to the postseason

  17. bethgoesglobal - May 1, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    Unbelievable game! Best series of the first round by far!!

    I think it’s safe to say that the Central Division will probably be the toughest in the NHL for at least the next few years.

    Go Wild!

  18. edinatherealhockeytownusa - May 1, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    The Niede Rreiter strikes again

  19. jsally430 - May 1, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    And niño……..

  20. clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    Cookie in the hallway hugging every player as they come down the tunnel… :)

    • alfredosauce19 - May 1, 2014 at 3:12 AM

      im lovin’ it!!!

    • 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      Don’t ruin the moment by bringing up that bastards name

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:30 AM


      • tved12 - May 1, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Ruin what moment, you clearing your eyes? Dude you’re not even an Avs fan yet you’ve been on here bashing the Wild and their fans all series. How’s your team doing?

      • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Ruin the moment? We won’t let that happen. Just keep workin’ it, b!tch… :)

  21. bigben1513 - May 1, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Finding Niño!!! Loved seeing sydor jump into yeo’s arms after the goal that was the real highlight of the night

    • getadealdonealready - May 1, 2014 at 1:33 AM

      I liked Heater tapping in the rebound just in case!

    • ignath - May 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

      I liked the Brodziak celebration when the el Niño goal went in. He was hopping up and down like a giddy little schoolgirl, was awesome!

  22. edinatherealhockeytownusa - May 1, 2014 at 1:35 AM

    #Free Matt Cooke, he will be back

    • strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 1:54 AM

      smoke hash oil, free matt cooke

    • 12is3times4 - May 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      The Wild got the last 3 of their 4 wins without Cooke in the lineup. If they’re at least holding their own through the first three games of the Chicago series, I’d be a little surprised if Cooke returns right away, if at all. Why mess with a good thing?

      It all just points up the idiocy of Cooke’s dirty move in Game 3. If the Wild had lost the series he would likely have gotten much of the blame for it. As it is, he’s just shown himself to be expendable.

      • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        Obviously new to hockey. Welcome aboard, son. Bandwagon fans to the back of the bus…

  23. mp1131211 - May 1, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    Yes! Cooke will be back!

    • 950003cups - May 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      Hope he gets run over by the team bus.

      • lbeezyse - May 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        The Wild will need him and his physical play to help control the Hawks. Unfortunately that will bump Heater or Nino off that third line. Do you move Moulson down since he has been a non factor? I like the energy SV has brought as well. It’s a good problem to have.

      • mp1131211 - May 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        Typical Christian comment. Baaaaarf!

  24. rgledz - May 1, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    Garth Snow had Spurgeon too, didn’t sign him. Great night for ex Islanders. Solidifying Snow’s legacy. On another note, congrats to Av’s fans on a great turn around season. It should be fun going forward. @ Avscup……suck it.

    • strictlythedanks - May 1, 2014 at 1:58 AM

      Oh YEah almost forgot the ceremonial: Suck It AVscup, you jabroni bytch….thanks for reminding me..

      • slickvb82 - May 1, 2014 at 2:03 AM

        Yep, suck it Avscup

      • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 2:35 AM

        LOL. Wait your turn.

    • tved12 - May 1, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      That chump had the nerve to call me out after game 2, which I proudly responded and told him he’d eating crow in a week or so. Look now, he’s nowhere to be found.

      Typical trolling chump. Think’s he’s a keyboard tough guy until all of his points are made invalid.

      Suck it Avs(nut)cup.

  25. ulrichsuter - May 1, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    Well, that Nino has not made it with the Isles might show more about that franchise than about him as a player. If that organization does not wake up, then they will also leave Tavares burned out….

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      Nino has stated that he didn’t feel like the Isle’s coaching staff believed in him–and that was reflected in his play there. He said Yeo does show that he believes in him–and that also is reflected in his play here…

      Lot’s of players are like that. They need that support to bring out their game. It’s a very emotional sport.

      This wasn’t Garth’s fault. He saw what the kid had and did his part by drafting him. The breakdown happened with a coaching staff who apparently doesn’t know how to develop their young talent. Too bad for you.

  26. kurb21 - May 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Saddened here in Denver, but Minnesota earned this, as they out played the Avs 75% of the time. Hell of a team, guys.

    When it all mattered most, the Wild wouldn’t be denied and Varly couldn’t handle it.

    Looking forward to watching this new Core 4 for the Avs mature (Mackinnon, Landeskog, Statsny and Duchene). Good luck against Chicago.

    • clarke16 - May 1, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Many thanks. Fans like you are a credit to your team.

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