ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild dominated the Avalanche for the second straight game Thursday, winning 2-1 to tie the first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at two games apiece.
Game 5 is Saturday night at Pepsi Center with Game 6 back in Minnesota on Monday.
The Wild outshot the Avalanche 32-12, and the Avalanche was outshot 78-34 in the two games in Minnesota, with Ryan O’Reilly getting the only goal.
“Every game is a new game and you have got to always bring that energy and same focus, but I think we fed off of last game and how well we played,” said Charlie Coyle, who scored his third goal of the series for Minnesota.
Jared Spurgeon scored 3:47 into the game to give the Wild a quick 1-0 lead. Coyle’s goal with 7:05 left in the second period made it 2-0.
But O’Reilly scored 30 seconds later to get the Avalanche back in the game, but Minnesota rookie goalie Darcy Kuemper kept the Avalanche at bay the rest of the way as the top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Paul Stastny and Gabe Landeskog had another off night.
The Avalanche power play has also become a concern in the series. It was 0 for 4 on Thursday and is a dreadful 1 for 15 in the series.
“When we have the type of performance that we have from our goaltender, there’s no reason for us to not believe in ourselves, coming back home,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said.
“We’re still not testing this goalie enough. We’re making him look good by taking shots from the outside and nobody being in front,” Landeskog said.
“That’s part of the playoffs,” Stastny said. “We knew it was going to be a tough series. Nothing’s going to come easy.”
AVALANCHE VS. WILD
Best-of-seven; series tied 2-2
April 17: Avalanche 5-4, OT
April 19: Avalanche 4-2
April 21: Minnesota 1-0, OT
April 24: Minnesota 2-1
April 26: at Pepsi Center, 7:30 p.m.
April 28: at Minnesota
April 30*: at Pepsi Center