MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: MacKinnon again beats Wild in overtime
DENVER (SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan MacKinnon scored 3:27 into overtime to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series.
The Avalanche used the same script from Game 1 to grab a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven set, tying the game late in regulation with the goaltender pulled and netting the overtime winner. Colorado's game-tying goal shouldn't have counted based on video review as Paul Stastny narrowly beat a puck-carrying MacKinnon into the Minnesota zone. However, the play wasn't blown dead for an offside. With play allowed to continue, MacKinnon chipped the puck ahead to Stastny, who snapped a shot from below the left circle that Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper turned away. Stastny then gathered the rebound and slipped the puck into the slot, where P.A. Parenteau fired the puck home with 1:14 remaining in regulation for his first career playoff goal. n overtime, MacKinnon handled a pass from Gabriel Landeskog in the left circle, made a move around Wild defenseman Marco Scandella and scored on a shot to the top right corner.
The Wild will try to stave off elimination on Monday by extending the home team's dominance in this series. Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves for Colorado, but the best save belonged to Avalanche defenseman Nick Holden, who prevented a goal in the extra session by blocking a Matt Moulson shot. Kuemper surrendered four goals on 35 shots after facing a combined 34 shots in the previous two games. Colorado carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, but Zach Parise and Kyle Brodziak scored less than two minutes apart to put Minnesota in front. Parise collected a pass from Jason Pominville on a rush and beat Varlamov, one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, to tie the game at 4:34. A soft clearing attempt by Avalanche defenseman Jan Hejda led to Brodziak, a scratch in Game 3, scoring on a one-timer from the high slot at 6:25. The Wild had a chance to extend their lead but failed to convert on a power play after Landeskog was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for giving Kuemper a snow shower with 4:33 remaining.
Phil Hughes turned in his best outing of the season and Trevor Plouffe delivered a key two-run single in the Minnesota Twins' 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Hughes (2-1), who entered the matchup with a 6.43 ERA through his first four starts as a Twin, held the Tigers to two runs -- one earned -- and just four hits over a solid seven frames. The right-hander added six strikeouts without a walk. He was aided by a four-run fifth inning that Plouffe capped with his tie- breaking single and saw Jose Ortega (0-1), pressed into duty when Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was forced to leave after 2 2/3 innings with a finger blister, walk three Minnesota batters to set up the bases-loaded hit. Sanchez had been sailing prior to the injury, issuing just a pair of walks while retiring eight of the 10 hitters he faced to maintain a 2-0 lead he was handed when taking the mound in the bottom of the first inning. Ortega kept Minnesota off the board through the fourth, but walked two to begin the Twins' half of the fifth and soon paid for his wildness.