With 3:01 remaining Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche tied the Minnesota Wild 4-4 with 13.4 seconds left in the third period.
Paul Stastny scored 7:27 into overtime after tying the game, lifting the Avalanche to a 5-4 victory over the Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals Thursday night.
“That overtime one, all five guys end up touching it. Barrie tracks a couple of guys and once he gives it to MacKinnon, I saw their defense diving in at him,” Stastny said, via NHL.com. “I was trying to yell at him because I knew I was open. When you get the puck, you want a quick release because you know the goalie’s not going to be ready. It was fortunate to squeeze in.”
Roy said he was ready to pull Varlamov with 4 minutes remaining.
“We almost did it at four minutes,” Roy said. “It went through our minds. At one point they had their third pairing on the ice, and it was, ‘Should we take a shot at it?’ But I thought it was really pushing it, but at the same time you have to go with your gut feeling. This is what the playoffs are — sometimes you have to see things, and I thought that’s what we did as a team.”
The Wild had a 4-2 lead going into the third period after Ryan Suter, Erik Haula and Kyle Brodziak each had a goal in the second.
“It’s really disappointing,” said Wild left wing Zach Parise, who had two assists. “We’re in the driver’s seat. We’re in a really good position going into the third and really throughout the third we were in a good position. We made some mistakes, and it was in our net and that’s the game. Our mistakes unfortunately cost us and got them back into the game.”
Game 2 of the best-of-7 series will be played Saturday at Pepsi Center.