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Avalanche Defeats Wild 4-3 In Overtime

Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and two assists, Mikko Rantanen scored the game-winner

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Alexander Kerfoot had a three-point game and Mikko Rantanen scored the overtime-winner on Friday in the Colorado Avalanche's 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Wild in preseason play at Pepsi Center.

Rantanen ended the outing 1:29 into OT after receiving a cross-ice pass from Nathan MacKinnon and tallying on a slap shot from the right circle during a power play. It was unclear initially if the puck went in but after discussion by the officials it was determined the puck did cross the goal line.

Kerfoot had a hand in each of the team's first three goals, scoring one and adding two assists. He also had a penalty-shot attempt in the second period.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves in his second preseason contest for the Avalanche (2-3-0), which also received goals on the night from forwards Tyson Jost and Matt Calvert. The Avs outshot the Wild 41-24.

"I thought we got off to a little bit of a slow start in the first," Kerfoot said. "I don't think we had many extended O-zone shifts at all, but I thought we got better as the game went along and were rewarded with a couple goals."

Kerfoot opened the scoring with 6:26 remaining in the first period after taking a stretch pass from Tyson Barrie in the neutral zone and burying his shot on a breakaway.

Kerfoot then assisted on Jost's goal at 1:33 of the second period after the fellow Colorado sophomore got open in the low slot and had plenty of net to shoot at. The marker came after some slick passing by Ian Cole and Colin Wilson on the right-wing side to open up Kerfoot and Jost.

Calvert gave the Avalanche a 3-1 advantage after scoring a power-play tally at 6:16 of the third period. Stationed in the low slot, Calvert redirected Kerfoot's shot from the top of the right circle for his first marker of the preseason. Colorado went 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Minnesota was unable to convert on its two chances with the extra attacker.

The Wild (2-4-1) rallied in the third period to force overtime as Nino Niederreiter scored at 8:12 and Jason Zucker tied the contest with his third point of the evening (one goal, two assists) with 1:02 left in regulation. Mikael Granlund also found the back of the net, tallying 14 seconds into the middle frame to briefly tie the outing at 1-1.

"The third period, especially early on in the third period, I thought we were really good and on the puck and playing more to our identity," said Avs head coach Jared Bednar. "A couple missed plays and mistakes that will happen in the preseason, especially when you're a little rusty, ended up in the back of our net, but at least we played with a purpose."

Minnesota had its goalies split the game with Alex Stalock starting and making 25 saves on 27 shots while former Avalanche netminder Andrew Hammond stopped 12 shots in the final 31:05 of play.

Colorado's fifth preseason contest was a preview of sorts for opening night as the team will host the Wild to begin the 2018-19 regular season on Thursday.

The Avalanche wraps up the exhibition slate at the Dallas Stars on Sunday at 4 p.m. MT.

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