ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ It took nearly an entire season for Minnesota to win its first overtime game.
Marc Chouinard scored his second goal of the game 53 seconds into the extra period to lift the Wild past the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Wednesday.
Chouinard poked the rebound of a shot by Stephane Veilleux under the leg pad of Colorado goaltender Tommy Salo, and the Avalanche fell to 1-5-1-1 in their last eight games.
``Overtime is probably the reason we're not in the playoffs,'' said Minnesota's Alexandre Daigle, who scored twice and added an assist. ``I think they had eight overtime wins last year and it took us until now to get an overtime win this year.''
Peter Forsberg had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche, who are trying to remain optimistic despite their recent struggles.
``The positive is that we were down and out and we were able to get two late goals and get a point,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. ``We've got two big games left. Obviously, the points mean a lot and we'll need to play them that way.''
Minnesota built a 4-2 lead with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation, only to see Colorado tie it. Forsberg made it 4-3 with his 18th goal of the year, then assisted on John-Michael Liles' game-tying goal with 1:09 to play.
The Avalanche got goals from Chris Gratton and Teemu Selanne, but lost their fourth consecutive road game.
``There's no excuse,'' Liles said. ``They played a tight defensive game, like they always do. We just couldn't get that winner.''
Minnesota needed just 27 seconds to get on the scoreboard, taking a 1-0 lead on the game's first shift. Daigle caught a pass from Chouinard and blasted a low shot past Salo, who finished with 24 saves. Gratton tied the game at 6:54 of the first, converting on a two-on-one break after a pass from Matthew Barnaby.
After Selanne gave Colorado a 2-1 lead early in the second period, Minnesota tied the game on a five-on-three power play goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Daigle and Chouinard scored in the third, giving Minnesota a two-goal advantage. But the Avalanche rally began on the controversial goal by Forsberg. His shot from the right of the Minnesota goal slid past goalie Dwayne Roloson just as Barnaby crashed into the crease, landing on Roloson.
The referee signaled ``goal'' immediately and refused to look at a reply despite Roloson's protests and a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd. Roloson finished with 25 saves.
``The interference on our goalie gave them a lift and we backed off after that goal,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. ``We weren't controlling the play at all for four or five shifts after that.''