Before we begin, tweet from Avalanche young star Matt Duchene (Matt9Duchene):"Great road win, never pretty against Minny that's for sure! Good news, O'Reilly is ok, makin plane ride back with us tonight. Thank God!"
Scary moment on a second-period Wild power play tonight, but O'Reilly, the Avs' other 19-year-old talent, tripped over Matt Cullen's skate and crashed head-first into the boards. All three Wild doctors (Dan Peterson, Joel Boyd and Sheldon Burns) attended to O'Reilly, immobilized him and took him off the ice on a stretcher and to Regions.
But the good news is he could move all extremities and as Duchene, a very high-paid and good hockey-playing PR guy, reported, O'Reilly chartered back to Denver.
As for the game, well, the Wild dominated it in every area but the scoreboard (sports cliche alert!!!). But it's true. Wild outchanged 'em 2-to-1, outshot 'em 33-18. Coach Todd Richards said the Wild needed more "puck luck" and "fortuitous bounces," and hey, it's hard to argue.
When it was 1-0, Craig Anderson robbed Kyle Brodziak, then Brodziak hit the side of the net with another half-empty net in front. Then, Marco Scandella, a minus-8 in the last 3 games and lost in the third period tonight after being hit in the ear with a puck (Richards didn't have update on status immediately after game), rang the post.
Then, the Avs get on a power play, the Wild's doing a great job killing it, but Clayton Stoner froze a puck instead of rimming it around, and a turnover later, give and go between Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk, and that didn't end well for the Wild. It was the first time in eight games the Wild was scored on the penalty kill, and it proved to be the winner.
The Wild didn't have any puck luck, true. But it also doesn't have any horses like Hejduk, too, that can bury its chances even when they're few and far between.
In other words, Wild's got to work exhaustedly to score. Other teams, sometimes they don't.
Then, Anton Khudobin gave up a back-breaking goal late in the second. In a period the Wild controlled but couldn't beat Anderson, Tomas Fleischmann flipped a bouncing puck at Khudobin from the blue line and it got through the exposed FIVE-hole.