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Avalanche vs Wild

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Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Wild's Niederreiter raises bar with Game 7 heroics

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:16 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo commented Wednesday morning that forward Nino Niederreiter has "been biting off a little bit more every game."

He swallowed the Colorado Avalanche whole Wednesday night with a season-changing performance in Game 7 at Pepsi Center.

Niederreiter scored a game-tying goal in the third period and the overtime winner 5:02 into the extra session to give the Wild a 5-4 come-from-behind victory and their first series win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2003.


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Inability to hold leads costs Avalanche

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:55 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- In the end, the Minnesota Wild did to the Colorado Avalanche what had been done to them earlier in their Western Conference First Round series.

The difference Wednesday at Pepsi Center was that the Wild's 5-4 overtime win came in Game 7 to send the Avalanche home for the summer.

The Avalanche took 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3 leads and couldn't hold any of them. Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon tied the game with 2:27 to play in the third period and Nino Niederreiter beat goalie Semyon Varlamov on a 2-on-1 rush at 5:02 of overtime.

The Avalanche pulled out overtime wins in similar fashion in Games 1 and 5, the latter to grab a 3-2 series lead.

"It's heartbreaking, but I guess you have to take a learning experience out of it," said Avalanche center Matt Duchene, who had two assists in his second game back after missing the final eight regular-season games and first five Stanley Cup Playoff games with a knee injury. "It should never have gone into overtime. I think we all feel that way. It's a terrible feeling right now."

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Wild face crossroads as they prepare for Game 7

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 7:41 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DENVER -- The Minnesota Wild have been climbing the ladder to contender status since Zach Parise and Ryan Suter changed the expectations around the team and the perception of the franchise by signing matching 13-year, $98 million contracts two summers ago.

The next step is the Wild's toughest yet.

The result of Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS, FS-N, ALT) will either raise the expectations around the Wild even higher or potentially alter the perception of the team going into the offseason.


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Avalanche ready for emotions of Game 7 vs. Wild

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:23 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- When the Colorado Avalanche acquired Max Talbot from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Steve Downie on Oct. 31, it was for precisely the kind of experience the young team will face Wednesday at Pepsi Center: Game 7 against the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference First Round (9:30 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN2, CNBC, FS-N, ALT).

The 30-year-old forward has played in far more Stanley Cup Playoff games (83) than any of his teammates, including four Game 7s.

Talbot scored both goals when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in Game 7 to win the Stanley Cup in 2009, so he understands what it takes to win a game of this magnitude.

"It's definitely intense emotions," Talbot said Tuesday. "Game 7, you know that everybody's watching. I feel like it's a little bigger stage. You have to take it in. Every Game 7 I've played, you remember the guys that scored the goals, you remember little plays, the saves and the blocked shots, the things that made you win this game, made you move on to have a chance at the Stanley Cup."

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Wild's Parise shines in biggest game of season

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 2:03 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The smile on Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo's face two summers ago was as wide as the July day was long.

A few days after the Wild signed forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts on July 4, 2012, they were introduced to hundreds of local media types inside the entrance at Xcel Energy Center. Yeo was a few chairs down the main table from the franchise's newest star players, but the presence of his grin was conspicuous.

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Duchene returns, sparks Avalanche's power play

Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 1:50 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Even though Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy played coy with the media Monday morning by not offering a definitive answer one way or another on center Matt Duchene's availability, there was no question on the player's part.

Duchene knew all along he would play in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

"I made the call [Sunday] that I was ready," Duchene said following Colorado's 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild that evened the best-of-7 series at 3-3.

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Duchene a distinct possibility for Avs in Game 6

Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 4:49 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Needing one win to clinch their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche could be getting regular-season leading scorer Matt Duchene back for Game 6 on Monday at the Xcel Energy Center (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Sunday a decision will be made after the morning skate Monday.

Duchene, who had a career-high 70 points (23 goals, 47 assists) in 71 games, hasn't played since March 29 when he sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a collision with teammate Jamie McGinn against the San Jose Sharks.

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Coyle finding comfort with Wild in playoffs

Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 5:57 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Charlie Coyle's first full season with the Minnesota Wild hasn't gone poorly. It hasn't gone as well as some expected either.

Inconsistent would be a fair assessment, although the forward's game got better as the Stanley Cup Playoffs crept closer.

The Wild trail the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series, with Coyle stepping up offensively heading into Game 4 Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30pm ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, FS-N, FS-WI, ALT).

After scoring one goal during a 23-game stretch between Jan. 12 and March 20, Wild coach Mike Yeo met with Coyle to relay a simple message: Play physical. It was an important part of his game Coyle knew he had strayed from.

"He said to stay simple to my game and work to my strengths," Coyle said.

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Avalanche's Barrie injured, out 4-6 weeks

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:14 AM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie sustained a knee injury early in the second period of Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Monday night.

Barrie and Wild forward Matt Cooke made knee-to-knee contact near the blue line in Colorado's defensive zone. Barrie skated slowly to the Avalanche bench and headed down the tunnel to the dressing room.

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Stastny thriving with MacKinnon, Landeskog

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 7:02 PM / Avalanche vs Wild - 2014 SCP First Round

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon is the teenage wunderkind with blazing speed. Gabriel Landeskog is the young captain, power forward and local heartthrob with the flowing locks.

Paul Stastny? He's the unsung member of the Colorado Avalanche's high-scoring line, sort of the glue that holds it all together.

At 28 and in his eighth NHL season, Stastny has grown into a role as elder statesman on one of the youngest teams in the League, though he's often underappreciated by some who have expected more from a player with a $6.6 million salary.

But Stastny, whose father Peter forged a Hall of Fame career over 16 NHL seasons, has been a solid two-way player in his own right and getting the chance to shine in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four years.

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp