Niederreiter's OT goal lifts Wild over Avalanche

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 1, 2014 - 10:24 AM

Nino Niederreiter’s OT goal allowed the Wild to win — and advance — in Denver.

– Hockey players are superstitious fellows, so after three previous road losses in the Western Conference quarterfinals, the Wild made what coach Mike Yeo called some “subtle changes” before Wednesday’s Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.

“OK, pretty much everything,” Yeo said, laughing.

Everything from flight times to meal times to locker room stall locations for every player was changed. Players even went as far to change the post-skate bus times Wednesday from 12:30 and 12:50 to 12:27 and 12:47.

Hey, whatever works.

The Wild put an exclamatory dent on the Central Division champion Avalanche’s home-ice advantage Wednesday night by rallying from four one-goal deficits to eliminate Colorado  5-4 in overtime.

“It was a roller coaster of a game,” Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. “What a series. This group, we’ve got something special here.”

Nino Niederreiter’s second goal of the game 5 minutes, 2 seconds into OT catapulted the Wild into the second round for the first time since 2003. Minnesota, ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks last season, will meet them again in the conference semifinals starting Friday in Chicago.

“To score a Game 7 overtime winner, it’s the biggest goal you can score,” Niederreiter said. “I’m very happy. I wasn’t quite sure it went in, though.”

Niederreiter, who redeemed himself from a first-period penalty that led to a goal, also assisted on Jared Spurgeon’s tying goal with 2:27 left to send the game into overtime. That goal answered Erik Johnson’s go-ahead goal six minutes prior.

The Wild got goals by Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. The Johnson goal was the second straight stoppable shot Darcy Kuemper allowed. At the next stoppage, Suter skated up to Kuemper, who was pulled from the game for Ilya Bryzgalov with an injury. A period earlier, Kuemper collided behind the net with Colorado’s Matt Duchene. When Kuemper fell, his head hit Suter, but he never left the game.

Kuemper, who missed the final seven regular-season games and didn’t start the first two games of the playoffs with a concussion, looked shaken afterward, but Yeo didn’t have an update on his status.

Bryzgalov, who lost Games 1 and 2, didn’t face a shot in the final 8:13 of regulation. The only shot Bryzgalov faced came 2:18 into overtime when Paul Stastny’s shot hit his shoulder.

“Series-saving save,” Suter called it.

Now there’s a chance Bryzgalov starts against Chicago.

“If only we had any experience dealing with this,” Yeo said sarcastically of the Wild’s season-long goalie carousel, one Zach Parise jokingly called “the never-ending circus.”

After the Wild couldn’t execute back-to-back odd-man rushes at the start of the third period, Stastny’s goal 2:55 in snapped a 2-2 tie. Less than four minutes, Niederreiter sniped a beauty over Semyon Varlamov’s blocker for his first career playoff goal.

“He raised the bar,” Yeo said of Niederreiter, acquired last June from the Islanders. “He got himself in trouble now because this is what we expect.”

But the Wild’s tight neutral zone was penetrated when P.A. Parenteau, who also set up Stastny’s goal, split defensemen Marco Scandella and Jonas Brodin. Kuemper stopped the breakaway, but the puck worked back to the blue line and Johnson whistled it through Kuemper’s five-hole.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 5:00 PM
Rutgers
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
Niagara 4:00 PM
Saint Peters
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
FIU
Southern Miss 5:00 PM
Marshall
Georgia State 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 5:15 PM
Troy
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
(17) Duke
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii
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 of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close