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game recap

Wild 3, Avalanche 2, OT

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 12:09 AM

Associated Press

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Wild 3, Avalanche 2, OT
Minnesota Wild 3, Colorado Avalanche 2

DENVER (AP) -The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche are so evenly matched that neither team can win in regulation.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a pass from Brian Rolston from behind the net and sent it past Jose Theodore 11:58 into overtime to give the Wild a 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Monday night.

It was the third straight overtime game in this first-round series, with the Wild winning two of them.

Going back to 2003, the teams have played five straight overtime games in the playoffs, all of which ended in 3-2 scores.

The Wild, which snapped a five-game road losing streak in the playoffs, were outshot 39-27 in regulation but controlled the extra period with most of the action in the Colorado zone, outshooting the Avalanche 12-7.

Theodore made great save after great save to keep the Avs in the game.

It even looked like there was going to be an icing call on the game-winning goal,  but Rolston beat Avs defenseman Jeff Finger to the puck and passed it into the slot for Bouchard's first goal of the postseason.

The teams return Tuesday night for Game 4, a rare back-to-back in the playoffs that was necessitated by the NBA's Denver Nuggets having the court Wednesday night for their regular-season finale.

That could hinder Avs left wing Peter Forsberg, who's still dealing with a balky ankle and sore groin after returning to the ice following his reunion with the Avalanche at the trade deadline.

Forsberg, 34, has been roughed up in this series, too, getting held and grabbed and thrown to the ice as he was in the second period, when Sean Hill wrapped him up for a takedown that resulted in a matching minor.

Another important factor for the Avalanche is Theodore's play.

He has held the Wild without a goal for the first two periods in all three games so far, only to surrender multiple third-period goals.

This time, Todd Fedoruk centered the puck from the right corner and Mikko Koivu, skating down the slot, redirected it right between Theodore's legs to tie it at 1-1 at 7:13 of the final period.

The Wild took their first lead on a short-handed goal with 8 1/2 minutes left when Pavol Demitra got control of the puck and skated past Joe Sakic to create a 2-on-1 break, sending it across to Rolston, who gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

The Avs tied it on Sakic's goal with 5:04 left. Aaron Voros knocked Colorado forward Andrew Brunette into goaltender Niklas Backstrom, and Sakic punched it in while Backstrom was on his back in the net, helpless.

The Avalanche went ahead 1-0 in the first period when Sakic's shot ricocheted off Backstrom and went right to Andrew Brunette, who smacked it into the net.

A former Minnesota star, Brunette was the hero of the Wild's first-round playoff win over Colorado in 2003 when he scored the game-winner in overtime of Game 7, the last goal surrendered by Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy.

Colorado missed a big opportunity to pile it on, however, because just four seconds after Brunette's goal, the Avs had their first of two power plays in the final 4 1/2 minutes of the period. The Wild killed off both penalties, including a 10-second 5-on-3 disadvantage.

The Avalanche finished 0-for-6 on the power play.

Notes: The Avs were 3-1 against Minnesota at home during the regular season. ... Minnesota has allowed the first goal in seven straight playoff games, dating to Game 1 of the 2007 Western Conference quarterfinals against Anaheim.

scoring summary
1st Period
15:19
COL
Andrew Brunette (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Sakic (2), Wojtek Wolski (3)
1 - 0 COL
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
07:13
MIN
Mikko Koivu (3) Snap shot - ASST: Todd Fedoruk (1), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (2)
1 - 1 Tie
11:32
MIN
SHG - Brian Rolston (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Pavol Demitra (1)
2 - 1 MIN
14:56
COL
Joe Sakic (2) Backhand shot - ASST: Peter Forsberg (2), Andrew Brunette (2)
2 - 2 Tie
1st OT Period
11:58
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Rolston (2)
3 - 2 MIN
penalty summary
1st Period
06:44
COL
Paul Stastny  Hi-sticking against  Keith Carney
15:37
MIN
Todd Fedoruk  Hooking against  Milan Hejduk
17:27
MIN
Kim Johnsson  Roughing against  Andrew Brunette
2nd Period
03:26
MIN
Aaron Voros  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jose Theodore
05:31
MIN
Marian Gaborik  Hooking against  Paul Stastny
08:19
COL
Ben Guite  Slashing against  Niklas Backstrom
11:32
COL
Peter Forsberg  Holding against  Sean Hill
11:32
MIN
Sean Hill  Roughing against  Peter Forsberg
16:01
COL
Milan Hejduk  Hi-sticking against  Kim Johnsson
19:43
MIN
Mikko Koivu  Hooking against  Joe Sakic
3rd Period
10:26
MIN
Mikko Koivu  Tripping against  Ryan Smyth
19:51
COL
David Jones  Slashing against  Mikko Koivu
1st OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Niklas Backstrom
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 46TOI: 71:58
Saves: 44EV: 31 - 33
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 12
SV%: .957SH: 1 - 1
José Théodore
SA: 39TOI: 71:58
Saves: 36EV: 24 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 11 - 11
SV%: .923SH: 1 - 2
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