Game 7 stage is set for Wild's Parise, Avs' MacKinnon

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 30, 2014 - 5:50 AM
hide

The Wild’s Zach Parise put together the latest big performance in the series, scoring two goals and assisting on two in his team’s 5-2 victory in Game 6.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– The Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon is 18, a future superstar who has used blinding speed and a lethal shot to roast the Wild.

The Wild’s Zach Parise is 29, a heart-and-soul energizer who has used hustle, determination and grit to roast the Avalanche.

Both big-game players are tied for the NHL’s playoff scoring lead with 10 points as their teams meet in the decisive Game 7 Wednesday night at Pepsi Center.

MacKinnon has one four-point game and two three-point games, including a Game 5 overtime winner. Parise is riding a career-best six-game point streak and is coming off a career-high and Wild-record four points in Monday’s Game 6 victory.

“The best players, they show up when it matters the most,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said.

If the Wild wants to advance past the first round for the first time since 2003, shutting down MacKinnon would be a good starting point. Same goes for the Avalanche when it comes to stopping Parise.

Win, you move on to face the Chicago Blackhawks. Lose, your season is over.

“The aura of a Game 7 is pretty special,” said Parise, who will play in his third. “I’m looking forward to it a lot. They’re exciting games to play in, they’re exciting to watch. Just the magnitude of everything bring on the line, it’s fun to be a part of.”

MacKinnon has killed the Wild in Denver. In three home games (all Colorado victories), MacKinnon has two goals and eight assists, 10 shots and is plus-7. In three road games (all Colorado losses), MacKinnon had no points, four shots and was minus-2.

“Every time he gets the puck, he’s explosive,” said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, who has shared the ice with MacKinnon during 92 percent of the rookie’s road shifts and 72 percent of his home shifts. “He tries to make plays. That’s the difference.

“There’s a lot of guys when they get the puck, if they don’t have anything, they’ll move it or put it in. But he always seems like he’s trying to beat you.”

Getting it done

Speed is MacKinnon’s biggest weapon. The Wild did a better job in Game 5 than in Games 1 and 2 bottling him up. But during three lapses — a 4-on-4, a late rush with Colorado’s net empty and one fatal shift in overtime — MacKinnon made the Wild pay.

“I’ll use the word mojo right now,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s got a little bit of that going, especially at home. He seems to be a guy that’s going to go out there and attack and wants to make a difference. And he’s obviously feeling very confident. He’s got electrifying speed and obviously a very high skill level to go along with it.”

Parise has the confidence thing going, too, and he also has the desire to be the game breaker for the Wild. What separates Parise from other great forwards is his tenacity, the way he goes after the puck and his total willingness to battle in front of the net and along the walls.

“There are guys that are more skilled players around the league, but this is a guy that finds a way to get it done because he’s the ultra-competitor,” Yeo said. “You can set your watch by it with the way that he’s going to come to the rink and the preparation that he puts in to make sure that he’s able to go out and compete and battle and work like that. To me, it’s all about will.”

They were warned

The Avalanche was reminded Monday how much it better pay attention to Parise. He scored two goals and two assists for the second time this season.

  • related content

  • Souhan: Series has delivered everything, more on way

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    As the teams prepared on Tuesday for Wednesday’s Game 7 at Pepsi Center, they looked back on games decided by millimeters and milliseconds.

  • Scoggins: Game 7 lead-up is all about the nerves

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    The Wild’s traveling party faces an emotional tug-of-war as the clock creeps toward opening faceoff of Game 7 against the Avalanche.

  • Yeo sees Game 7 as part of Wild's growth

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    There are pivotal junctures in the growth of every team, and Wednesday night will be a significant one for the Wild.

  • Duchene gives Avalanche a jolt of confidence

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    Colorado considers itself a deep team, but in Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Wild it was apparent how much Matt Duchene was missed earlier in the series.

  • Game 7 preview: Wild at Colorado

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    wild gameday8:30 p.m. at Colorado • Pepsi Center • FSN, 100.3-FMPreview: With Monday’s 5-2 home victory over Colorado, the Wild...

  • Chart: NHL Game 7 facts and figures

    Tuesday April 29, 2014

    NHL Game 7 facts• Best-of-seven playoff series: 606• Seven-game series: 149• Game 7 home victories: 94 (63 percent)• Game 7 road victories: 55 (37 percent)• Wild in Game 7s: 2-0• Avalanche...

  • A look at Game 7s in Minnesota history

    Wednesday April 30, 2014

    The state has gone a decade without appearing in one, but Minnesota teams have a rich history of Game 7s....

  • Russo: Wild's ready for Game 7

    Tuesday April 29, 2014

    The Wild and Avalanche will meet Wednesday to close out its first round series. The winner advances to meet Chicago

  • Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon was held scoreless in three games in St. Paul, but he returns home for Game 7, where he has two goals and eight assists in three games.

  • Nathan MacKinnon

  • Zach Parise

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 64 3rd Qtr 2:46
Boston 79
Philadelphia 46 3rd Qtr 9:33
Indiana 63
Portland 64 3rd Qtr
Sacramento 50
Charlotte 59 3rd Qtr 6:03
Orlando 45
Oklahoma City 53 2nd Qtr 0:45
LA Lakers 48
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Denver
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 3rd Prd :09
Florida 4
Columbus 2 3rd Prd 3:49
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 1st Prd 5:56
Washington 1
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Dallas
St. Louis 8:30 PM
Vancouver
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 41 2nd Half 17:01
Wake Forest 39
Oregon 21 1st Half 7:07
Stanford 25
Purdue 6:30 PM
Ohio State
Arizona State 7:30 PM
Colorado
Washington St 8:30 PM
UCLA
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close