Wild even series at 2 with 2-1 win vs. Avalanche

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Charlie Coyle scored his third goal of the series for Minnesota, and the Wild dominated the Colorado Avalanche for the second straight game on their way to a 2-1 win Thursday night that evened the first-round matchup at two apiece.

"We should feel good about tonight," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "We're 2-2 in the series. So to be in the situation after being down 2-0, that's obviously a really good thing, but at the same time, we need to make sure we continue to have that focus."

The Wild outshot the Avalanche a stunning 32-12, establishing a franchise record for fewest allowed by Minnesota. Colorado had just three shots in the first, four in the second and five shots in the third.

"The good part for me is that our habits, our structure, our game is so consistent from game to game to game," Yeo said. "As long as we fall back on that, we should be able to (play like we did on Thursday)."

Colorado has been outshot 78-34 in the last two games.

"Before the game, you tell the guys that you can't assume it's going to start the way it finished last time. You have to make that happen and you do that with the little things," Yeo said.

Despite the lockdown defense, the Avalanche had a flurry of opportunities at the end of the game. Several Wild players, including the hero in Game 3, Mikael Granlund, managed to block shots before they reached Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper.

It's a stressful finish that Yeo believes will help his team.

"We want to get better as the playoffs go along," Yeo said. "When you play in games like that, you get used to playing in moments like that. When the game is on the line, you have to execute or make a play or defend, whatever the situation calls for, and you have to do it when the stakes are that high."

Ryan O'Reilly scored the only goal for the Avalanche in the second period. The goal came just 30 seconds after Coyle's goal gave the Wild a 2-0 lead.

The Wild got on the board at 3:47 in the first period. Jared Spurgeon used a slap shot to get a puck past Colorado's Semyon Varlamov. The Wild scored much quicker than the 65:08 the Wild needed to score in Game 3.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said that his team is not executing well at this point in the series, but that doesn't mean he's not confident moving forward.

"When you have the type of performance from our goaltender, there's no reason not to believe," he said.

The Minnesota Wild were perfect again on the penalty kill. The Avalanche failed to score in three power play chances. It's something Yeo said he would like to see continue when the series returns to Denver on Saturday night.


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