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
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
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.''