There is precedent for the Wild rallying to win a playoff series after allowing a late tying goal in Game 1, then losing that same game in overtime.
Just ask Matt Cooke.
The Wild veteran was a 23-year-old Vancouver Canucks agitator in 2003 when he sent Game 1 of the conference semifinals against the Wild to overtime with 1.2 seconds left. Trent Klatt then scored in overtime to lift Vancouver to a 4-3 victory.
“I remember slamming my fists on the ice because I was face down,” Cooke said, laughing.
That’s why Cooke said the Wild surrendering a two-goal, third-period lead in Thursday’s Game 1 OT loss to the Colorado Avalanche is not the “end of the world” provided the Wild responds properly in Saturday’s Game 2.
“Even if you look further in that 2003 series, we were up three games to one and the Wild won the series,” Cooke said. “Series are long. Series take their toll. The key to winning a series is you learn your lessons from the previous game, but you can’t carry the emotions of wins or losses into the next game.
“You deal with it and move on.”
Friday afternoon, the Wild did its best to put Thursday’s disappointment in the rearview mirror during an up-tempo, lively, surprisingly loose practice. The Wild tried to pull the good things it did out of Thursday’s game while repairing the bad things.
The Wild knows it must manage the puck better in Saturday’s rematch, must defend better and must be more physical.
“There’s enough positives to take from that game where we should feel good about ourselves,” coach Mike Yeo said. “The best part for me is that was a winnable game for us, but I know that we can be better.”
The only lineup shuffle expected Saturday is rookie center Erik Haula being elevated to the third line between Cooke and Nino Niederreiter and Kyle Brodziak, who was minus-3, being demoted to the fourth line between Stephane Veilleux and Cody McCormick.
The Wild had total control of Thursday’s game until Brodziak’s unforced turnover with less than 13 minutes left in the third period resulted in Jamie McGinn cutting the deficit to 4-3.
“I double-clutched myself and it ended up in the back of the net and was the turning point in the game,” Brodziak said.
Later, in the final minute, Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon gave the puck away instead of flipping it out of the Avs’ end. That led to Paul Stastny’s tying goal with 13.4 seconds left.
“The mistakes that we made were some big ones,” Spurgeon said.