Wild win to even series

ST.PAUL, Minn – The Minnesota Wild came home to Exel Energy Centre down two games to none and used home ice to even this series at two with a convincing 2-1 victory in which they dominated play .

Mikael Granlund

Mikael Granlund earned first star with strong performance in game 4 – image courtesy of NHL

“We want to get better as the playoffs go along,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “When you play in games like that and you get used to playing in moments like that, when the game’s on the line and you have to execute … Those are growing moments for your team.”

Wild backup goalie Darcy Kuemper has posted back-to-back wins and looked very confident and poised in the pipes, although he had to stop only 11 shots on the night .

Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots and played another solid game and kept his club in the game that should not have been close.

“You don’t try to do too much,” said Minnesota’s Mikael Granlund, who scored the overtime winner in Game 3. “You just try to get in the lanes. That’s pretty much all you can do.”

The Wild got goals from Jared Spurgeon and Charlie Coyle who scored the winner on the power play in the second period.

“I didn’t know where it went either. I don’t think anyone did, and I just happened to look and it was right on my stick,” said Coyle, who has three goals in the series. “I’ll take it. Right place, right time, and it ended up being a big goal for us, so I’ll take it.”

The Avs got their lone goal from Ryan O’Reilly .

This series has taken a turn as the first two games were back and forth with chances and the last two have the Wild playing a strong puck possession game limiting the young, skilled Avalanche players to minimal chances.

“The first part of the game was what didn’t happen and what we didn’t do,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “We were passive and we can’t afford to be passive in a game like this.”

Special teams were a factor as the Avalanche were 0-4 on the power play and didn’t generate much offence at all.

Coach Patrick Roy will have to figure out something as you can’t win many games by only firing 12 shots on goal against an already stingy team like the Wild.

“Sometimes you need that break to get a big goal for you,” Roy said. “Look at the winning goal. It wasn’t a pretty one. Great play by Coyle, but it was bad luck.”

The Wild were missing forward Matt Cooke who was handed a seven-game suspension for his knee-on-knee hit against Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie who will be out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.http://

The series will shift back to Denver for the all important game 5 where the Avs will hope to get back to their winning ways .

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