Avalanche fall to Wild 5-4 in Game 7 of NHL playoff series

DENVER - The Colorado Avalanche fell at home to the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in the 7th game of the Stanley Cup first round playoff series.

Patrick Roy wanted a fast start and got it, with the Avs scoring first in the first period as Nick Holden scored whith Jamie McGinn was in the crease.

It was the Wild's turn to score, with Mikko Koivu tying the game at 1-1.

The Avs returned the favor with Jamie McGinn bagging a goal, bringing the Avs up 2-1.

In the second period, on a Wild power play, Mikael Granlund took the shot and Danny Heatley buried the rebound, bringing the score even at 2-2.

Avalanche Center Paul Stastny followed that with a wrist shot goal in the third period.

That was answered by the Wild's Nino Niederreiter, who tied it at 3-3.

Avs defenseman Erik Johnson joined the scoring rally with a goal of his own in the third, which was followed by a goal for Minnesota by Jared Spurgeon to tie it up 4-4 to go into overtime.

Niederreiter scored in overtime to help the Wild down the Avs.

The Wild will now face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's an emptiness that you don't know how to handle it. One of those games where you feel like it's ours. Should have been ours. We had our chances in overtime. We will all go home tonight and lose some sleep," said Avalanche Captain Gabe Landeskog.

Landeskog added, "Next week, in a couple days, you can sit down and look at some of those positives. So proud of those guys. The deserve a lot better than this."

"It's disappointing. We had a chance to do something special this year. This one will sting," said Avs forward Matt Duchene. "Take that motivation into the summer and come back better next season. I wish we were still playing."

"It was embarrassing. Frustrating. (We lost this series on the road) You can’t win a Cup if you can’t win on the road. We were embarrassing on the road," said Avs forward Ryan O'Reilly.

"There's a side of me that's disappointed -- I thought we could have won that game, but I don't have enough words to describe how proud I am of this team," said Avs Coach Patrick Roy. "As much as we were dreaming about winning the Stanley Cup, we knew it was going to be tough to win. We're not there yet."

It's the first playoff series win for the Wild since 2003.

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