ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – Charlie Coyle scored his third goal of the series for Minnesota, and the Wild dominated the Colorado Avalanche for the second straight game on their way to a 2-1 win Thursday night that evened the first-round matchup at two apiece.
The Wild outshot the Avalanche a stunning 32-12, establishing a franchise record for fewest allowed by Minnesota. Colorado has been outshot 78-34 in the last two games, with Ryan O’Reilly getting the only goal.
“I think it’s confidence coming from last game,” Coyle said. “Every game is a new game and you have got to always bring that energy and same focus, but I think we fed off of last game and how well we played.”
Jared Spurgeon used a slap shot to get a puck past Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov just 3:47 into the game, much quicker than the 65:08 the Wild needed to score the last time. Game 5 will be in Denver on Saturday night.
Coyle was in perfect position to backhand in a lucky bounce of the ricochet of Jason Pominville’s rocket off the glass behind the net, giving the Wild a two-goal lead with 7:05 left in the second period.
Just 30 seconds later, O’Reilly gave the Avalanche their first goal against Wild rookie Darcy Kuemper in the series after 42 shots and more than 124 minutes without one, a long-range shot from the top of the circle without any traffic in front that cut the lead to 2-1.
But that was all they could scrap together on another off night by the high-scoring, fast-skating stars that highlighted victories in Games 1 and 2.
The Avalanche failed to score on all four power plays and fell to 1-for-15 in the series. Coach Patrick Roy didn’t look fazed, though, even if his players were frustrated and disappointed.
Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)
In Detroit, Jarome Iginla scored with 6:28 left in overtime on a redirected shot that went off an opponent, lifting Boston past the Red Wings in Game 4 of their first-round series to finish off a comeback from a two-goal deficit.
Detroit took a 2-0 lead early in the second period after Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and an assist.
Torey Krug scored midway through the second period to pull the Bruins within a goal. Milan Lucic tied it at 2-2 early in the third period.
Kings 6, Sharks 3
In Los Angeles, Justin Williams and Marian Gaborik scored two goals apiece, and the Kings emphatically avoided first-round playoff elimination with a victory over San Jose in Game 4.
Captain Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Toffoli scored on his 22nd birthday during a three-goal second period as Los Angeles dodged a series sweep.
James Sheppard, Matt Nieto and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who couldn’t finish off the second playoff sweep in franchise history.