Wild
Avalanche
3 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Bouchard nets OT winner, lifts Wild past Avalanche

Apr 15, 2008 - 6:23 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Brian Rolston chose the quickest route and Pierre-Marc Bouchard converted to lead the Minnesota Wild to victory.

Rolston corralled a puck to prevent an icing call and alertly fed Bouchard, who scored 11:58 into overtime to propel the third-seeded Wild to a 3-2 triumph over the sixth-seeded Colorado Avalanche in Game Three of their Western Conference quarterfinal series on Monday.

Mikko Koivu scored his third goal of the series, Rolston had a shorthanded tally and Niklas Backstrom made 44 saves for Minnesota, which leads two games to one in the best-of-seven series.

Captain Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette each had a goal and an assist and Jose Theodore made 36 saves for Colorado, which hosts Game Four on Tuesday.

"You need four wins, (but) every win is big," Backstrom said. "But we have to get ready for the next game. It comes fast, it's tomorrow. So enjoy now for a while and start to prepare for tomorrow."

"Both teams have to do it," Brunette said of playing back-to-back nights. "If you can't get up for a playoff game, you shouldn't be playing hockey."

It was the fourth time in NHL history that the first three games of a playoff series have gone to overtime. The Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers last accomplished the feat in 1991.

In overtime, Minnesota cleared the puck down the ice as Rolston and Colorado defenseman Jeff Finger gave chase. Rolston chose the shortest path to the puck and alertly fed Bouchard in the slot. The Quebec native made no mistake, firing the puck past Theodore and under the crossbar for the game-winner.

"It feels good, definitely," Bouchard said. "We had some good chances, they (Theodore and Backstrom) both made some key saves. Both teams are ready to play and it's tight hockey out there. It's going to be like this until the end."

"It was an icing call," Theodore said of the play leading up to the deciding goal. "I guess it took a weird bounce and our defenseman went the wrong way, so they were able to get on the attack right away with a couple of guys. It was more of a bad bounce than anything. You have to turn the page and bounce back tomorrow."

With Minnesota nursing a 2-1 lead with 5:04 remaining in the third period, Sakic came through in the clutch again - but not without controversy.

After Backstrom denied Peter Forsberg on the doorstep, Minnesota's Aaron Voros barreled into Brunette and took out the Finnish netminder in the process. Sakic alertly shot the puck into the net to tie the contest.

His tally aside, Sakic knows that the third period has been costly for the Avalanche. Minnesota has scored all eight of its goal in the third period or beyond.

"Obviously that is costing us right now," Sakic said. "That's the biggest reason why we are down. But like I said, we have a big game tomorrow and we have to be ready for it."

Brunette opened the scoring with 4:41 remaining in the first period, cleaning up a rebound after Backstrom denied Sakic with a left pad save. Unmarked on the doorstep, Brunette tapped the puck into the net for his first tally of the series and 12th of his career.

Colorado struggled on the power play - going 0-for-6 - and was unable to increase its advantage.

"Our power play needs to be better than it was tonight," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "That was an area where we could have got a 2-0 lead and distanced ourselves in the game."

After Koivu leveled the contest 7:13 into the third period, Rolston gave the Wild the advantage nearly 4 1/2 minutes later.

With Minnesota shorthanded, Pavol Demitra stole the puck from Paul Stastny, skated down the ice and joined Rolston for a 2-on-1 advantage. Demitra slipped a pass to Rolston on the doorstep, who beat Theodore to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 2 1 3
    COLORADO 1 0 1 0 2 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 15:19
    2ND PRD: 3RD PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 3 (TODD FEDORUK, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:13
    MIN - (SH) BRIAN R

    Apr 15 1:07 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL MINNESOTA 3
    COLORADO 2
    OT: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 1 (BRIAN ROLSTON) 11:58

    Wild 3, Avalanche 2  End of OTApr 15 1:05 AM
  • 145
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    RUWTbot Added 53 roots (Overtime)

    Wild 2, Avalanche 2  OT - 18:30Apr 15 12:45 AM
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    Wild 2, Avalanche 2  End of Reg.Apr 15 12:43 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 2 2
    COLORADO 1 0 1 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 15:19
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 3 (TODD FEDORUK, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:13
    MIN - (SH) BRIAN ROLSTON 1 (PAVOL DEMITRA) 11:32

    Apr 15 12:29 AM
  • 87
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 4:30Apr 15 12:22 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: COL - JOE SAKIC 2 (PETER FORSBERG, SCOTT HANNAN) 14:56

    Wild 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 5:04Apr 15 12:20 AM
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    Wild 2, Avalanche 2  3rd - 5:04Apr 15 12:20 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - (SH) BRIAN ROLSTON 1 (PAVOL DEMITRA) 11:32

    Wild 2, Avalanche 1  3rd - 8:28Apr 15 12:15 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL MINNESOTA 1
    COLORADO 1
    3RD PRD: MIN - MIKKO KOIVU 3 (TODD FEDORUK, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD) 7:13

    Wild 1, Avalanche 1  3rd - 12:47Apr 15 12:05 AM
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    Wild 0, Avalanche 1  3rd - 17:00Apr 15 12:01 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0
    COLORADO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 15:19
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 9 14 23
    COL 12 17 29
    GOALIE

    Apr 14 11:37 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 15:19
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 9 9
    COL 12 12
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLA

    Apr 14 10:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL MINNESOTA 0
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - ANDREW BRUNETTE 1 (JOE SAKIC, WOJTEK WOLSKI) 15:19

    Wild 0, Avalanche 1  1st - 4:41Apr 14 10:38 PM
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    Wild vs. AvalancheApr 14 8:26 AM
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    Wild vs. AvalancheApr 14 6:38 AM