By Ryan Donaldson
The Minnesota Wild found themselves in a “win and in” situation in the final regualar season game of this 2013 truncated season. The squad, coming off their worst defeat of the season Friday night, knew a win against the Colorado Avalanche at the
The Wild’s Captain Mikko Koivu knew it was essential to set the tone early and get the puck on the net. His shot created a rebound that Zach Parise buried to give
The Wild were playing extremely hard on both end of the ice, it wasn’t until the mark of the first period that
Cullen and Clutterbuck were given gift-wrapped scoring chances after each getting breakways, but were denied each try. Despite having all of the game’s momentum and 15 shots in the period,
The Wild caught a big break to open up play in the second frame. After Backstrom seemingly allowed in a second and go-ahead goal for the Avalanche, the play was reviewed and disallowed after it was determined the puck was kicked into the net.
It wasn’t the only break they would see during the second period, a penalty going against Colorado set up a powerplay and the Wild knew they had to convert on the man-up chance. Devin Setoguchi’s slap shot found the back of the net during the five on four put
The Wild and Avalanche exchanged power play opportunities to open up play in the third. Backstrom’s crucial five saves on the penalty kill kept the game at a 2-1 score.
Nicklas Backstrom was in fine form with the game on the line, making consecutive crucial saves late in the game to hang onto a one goal lead.
Mikko Koivu assisted on Parise’s goal to start the scoring Saturday night, “We knew we needed a good start to build that confidence back up again. Backstrom was big at the end there. Great effort all around for 60 minutes from the guys.” The Captain added, “We stuck together, we handled up's and down's. Now we start again. The playoffs are a whole new season.” The Wild are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008, and will face the Chicago Blackhawks beginning next week!