RW Nino Niederreiter tallied a career-high three points (2-1=3) including the winning goal 5:02 in overtime to lead Minnesota to a 5-4 Game 7 and first-round series victory Wednesday night in Denver. C Mikko Koivu, LW Dany Heatley and D Jared Spurgeon also scored for Minnesota in regulation. G Darcy Kuemper made 17 saves in net before being replaced in net by G Ilya Bryzgalov, who made one save in overtime to earn the win. Minnesota will travel to Chicago to begin a second-round series against the Blackhawks Friday at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Minnesota moved to 3-0 all time in Game 7 play, including 2-0 in Denver. The Wild is 9-5 all time in playoff elimination games, including 5-1 versus Colorado. Minnesota earned its first road victory in nine playoff games, since winning in OT, 3-2, in its first game in Colorado in 2008 (4/14/08).
The Wild and Colorado played in their 20th all-time playoff meeting. It was the 14th all-time one-goal game, including the fifth of this series. Minnesota moved to 6-3 in OT playoff games vs. Colorado.
Minnesota outshot Colorado, 35-22, including 5-1 in overtime and 33-14 following the game’s first five minutes.
The Wild fought back from four separate, one-goal deficits in the game, before RW Nino Niederreiter gave the Wild its only (and final) lead of the game. Niederreiter finished his first NHL playoff series with a three-point Game 7 (2-1=3). He added an assist in Game 1. After totaling three points (2-1=3) in 64 NHL games over parts of two seasons with the New York Islanders (2010-12), he totaled a career-high 36 points (14-22=36) in his first season with Minnesota.
LW Dany Heatley earned a playoff career-best plus-3 rating and tied his career high with three points on the night (1-2=3), including an assist on the winning goal. He leads the Wild with 62 career playoff points (16-46=62) in 71 playoff games. He has five points (1-4=5) in five games this series and nine points (1-8=9) in 10 career games vs. Colorado.
C Kyle Brodziak recorded career highs with three points (0-3=3) and a plus-3 rating. He earned the primary assist on both of Niederreiter’s goals, including the OT winner. He has five points this postseason (2-3=5) and seven points (2-5=7) in 11 career games
C Mikko Koivu scored his first goal of the playoffs, his sixth point of the series (second-most on the Wild), along with six shots, three hits and 12 faceoff wins. He has 12 points (6-6=12) in 23 career postseason games, including 11 points (5-6=11) in 13 games against Colorado. He played in his 23rd playoff game, tying Wes Walz for third-most in Wild history (Gaborik 29, Schultz 24).
C Mikael Granlund tallied the primary assist on Heatley’s goal to extend his point streak to five games (2-3=5) since scoring the OT winner in Game 3.
C Charlie Coyle earned the primary assist on Koivu’s goal, his fifth point this series (3-2=5). He has seven points (3-4=7) in 12 career playoff games.
Entering tonight, there were 149 Game 7s in NHL playoff history. The Wild became the 39th team to win after allowing the game’s first goal and became the 19th road team to win in OT.
D Nick Holden, LW Jamie McGinn, C Paul Stastny and D Erik Johnson scored for Colorado, while G Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves.