2014 NHL Playoffs: Minnesota Wild Smother Colorado Avalanche To Even Series
The Colorado Avalanche did their job in Game 1 and Game 2, holding serve to take a 2-0 lead over the Minnesota Wild. After a dominant win on Thursday night, the Wild did their job and held serve, tying the series up at two games apiece by winning 2-1. The Wild smothered the Avalanche, only allowing 12 shots in the entire game. The Avalanche looked lost during this game, but the Wild deserve all the credit for their game plan.
Wild head coach Mike Yeo talked about how last change would be in this series. In Game 3 and Game 4, Yeo was able to get his star defenseman, Ryan Suter, on the ice against the Avalnche’s top line of Nathan Mackinnon, Paul Stastny and Gabriel Landeskog. That line has been a non-factor in the two games played in Minnesota.
The Wild’s rookie goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, did not have to be spectacular. In fact, he let up a real soft goal to Ryan O’Reilly, but made a couple of big saves in the last two minutes of the game. Semyon Varlamov was excellent in goal for the Avalanche, but his teammates could not generate enough offense in order to get the job done.
The Wild dominated this game from start to finish. Jared Spurgeon got the scoring started early, and Charlie Coyle got the game winner. Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund were forces, making plays all over the ice. If the Wild can continue to suffocate the potent offense of the Avalanche, they could easily take this series. They need to ride this momentum into Game 5 in Colorado.