Apr 21, 2014 11:45 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Mikael Granlund's highlight-reel goal 5:08 into overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 1-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series at Xcel Energy Center on Monday night.
Colorado now leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 will be played in Minnesota on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET, TSN2, CNBC, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI).
Granlund, who gained control of the puck in the left corner, skated behind the net to the right corner, fought off Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda, skated to the front of the net and beat Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov while in mid-air.
It was Granlund's first career goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Minnesota played perhaps its strongest game of the season; Granlund's goal came on the Wild's 46th shot.
Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, making his first career playoff start, made 22 saves.
The Wild beat up the Avalanche physically and on the shot chart. Minnesota fired 22 shots at Varlamov in the first period, a franchise playoff record. By the end of regulation, Varlamov had stopped 44 shots, including several grade-A chances. Minnesota had already broken the franchise record for shots in a playoff game (40) with nine minutes left in the third period.
Wild forwards Charlie Coyle and Matt Moulson had shots that went off the goal post, with Coyle's coming on a 2-on-1 break in the first period and Moulson's off a deflection in the second.
The save of the game may have come with four minutes left in regulation when Wild forward Mikko Koivu skated into the slot with the puck and fired a shot with traffic in front of Varlamov, but Colorado's Maxime Talbot slid in front of the puck before it could cross the goal line to keep the game scoreless.
The Avalanche played a majority of the game down a defenseman after Tyson Barrie was injured on a knee-to-knee hit from Matt Cooke 2:02 into the second period. Cooke was assessed a two-minute minor for kneeing.
Barrie was able to leave the ice on his own, but he went down the tunnel and did not return. The Avalanche announced Barrie would miss the remainder of the game during the second intermission.