|COL||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|MIN||0||0||0||0||(null - null)||3|
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -With the young Minnesota Wild on the ropes, old man Keith Carney came through just in time.
Carney scored on a slap shot 1:14 into overtime to lift the Wild to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night, tying the series 1-1 and giving a huge sigh of relief to more than 19,000 towel-waving fans.
Minnesota's Mikko Koivu appeared to have scored the winner with 1:49 to go in regulation when he stole a pass just outside the Colorado blue line and ripped a slap shot past Jose Theodore for a 2-1 lead. But Wild defenseman Kim Johnsson was called for a hooking penalty with 1:09 to go, and Milan Hejduk tied it with 43.8 seconds to play.
The late goal sucked the wind out of the Xcel Energy Center, but the 38-year-old Carney revved it right back up with just his second goal of the season.
Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves, and Pavol Demitra also scored for the Wild, who were on the brink of disaster when the Avs rallied to tie it.
Lose this one, and the Wild would have taken a 2-0 hole back to Pepsi Center, where the Avalanche has 27 wins this season - the third most in the NHL.
With the depleted blue line huffing and puffing thanks to the loss of Nick Schultz and Kurtis Foster to injury, Carney had just enough left in the tank to get one past Theodore, who made 28 saves.
Game 3 is Monday night in Denver.
Peter Forsberg scored his 64th career playoff goal to give Colorado a 1-0 lead heading into the third period, but Theodore allowed two Minnesota goals in the third for the second straight game.
Demitra tied it at 1-1 with a power-play goal early in the third period, and Koivu's brilliant play down the stretch had the Wild fans roaring.
Not so fast.
Hejduk and the playoff-tested Avalanche didn't give in. He deflected a shot from John-Michael Liles through Backstrom's legs, and the Avalanche looked to be in good shape.
But overtime was over nearly before it started, thanks to Carney, one of the few Wild players with significant playoff experience.
He has played 86 career playoff games and was a stalwart on defense for Anaheim during its run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003.
The Wild need him now more than ever. The injuries to Foster and Schultz forced Jacques Lemaire to play Brent Burns, Kim Johnsson and Martin Skoula major minutes against the slick-skating Avs.
Lemaire tried to limit the minutes of Carney and fellow 38-year-old Sean Hill, but he had no choice but to play Carney in overtime on Friday night.
Carney pounced on a loose puck and let loose with a slap shot just outside the faceoff circle that squeaked past Theodore.
Notes: Colorado RW David Jones left the game in the second period with a left leg injury and did not return. ... Forsberg is third among active NHL players in career postseason goals. ... Wild D Martin Skoula played with a sore left leg. ... Avalanche D Jordan Leopold, a Hobey Baker winner and star at the University of Minnesota, was a healthy scratch. ... Wild LW Aaron Voros started in place of Mark Parrish, who is out with a head injury.
|Peter Forsberg (1) ASST: Jeff Finger (2)|
1 - 0 COL
|PPG - Pavol Demitra (1) ASST: Brent Burns (1)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Mikko Koivu (2) ASST: Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1)|
2 - 1 MIN
|PPG - Milan Hejduk (1) ASST: John-Michael Liles (1), Peter Forsberg (1)|
2 - 2 Tie
|1st OT Period|
|Keith Carney (1) ASST: NONE|
3 - 2 MIN
|Brian Rolston Slashing against Ruslan Salei|
|Cody McLeod Interference against Sean Hill|
|Brent Burns Tripping against Peter Forsberg|
|Cody McLeod Roughing against James Sheppard|
|James Sheppard Roughing against Cody McLeod|
|Eric Belanger Hi-sticking against Peter Forsberg|
|Peter Forsberg Hooking against Marian Gaborik|
|Kurt Sauer Hooking against Marian Gaborik|
|Kim Johnsson Hooking against Ryan Smyth|
|1st OT Period|
|SA: 31||TOI: 60:14|
|Saves: 28||EV: 18 - 20|
|PIM: 0||PP: 9 - 10|
|SV%: .903||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 26||TOI: 61:11|
|Saves: 24||EV: 18 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 6 - 7|
|SV%: .923||SH: 0 - 0|