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Game 31: Avs grab a point in a 2-1 loss to the Wild

Two important points were on the line tonight, and the Avs came out flying. The Wild didn't back down, though.

The Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild not only showed up on time, but the teams came to play. The first period featured a lot of good puck possession, stellar team defense, key saves, and lucky puck bounces for both teams. The most exciting moments were a two-on-one for Minnesota and a near breakaway for Matt Duchene that was disrupted by an unruly puck.

With just under four minutes left, the Avalanche went on the power play as Jonas Brodin of Minnesota sat two for interference on Ryan O'Reilly. PA Parenteau was completely robbed by Josh Harding avbout 45 seconds in, and that would be the last of the real chances.

The period ended with a couple of goose eggs on the scoreboard, although the Avs nearly doubled up on the Wild in shots.

Shortly into the second, we saw someting that we had yet to see since he entered the league: Patrick Bordeleau down onthe ice, being treated by the trainer. He took a hard stick to the face, leaving some blood--and a tooth--onthe ice. He skated to the net bitching at the ref for the non-call.

The Avalanche got their second power play of the night when Nino Niederreiter got a hook on John Mitchell. The biggest play came at the end when Jan Hejda's stick broke inan attempt to hold the puck in the zone. To prevent a prime scoring chance by a recently sprung Niederreiter, Hejda calmly kicked the puck out of harm's way, which gave his teammates the time to get back into the play. Welcome back, Jan. We've missed you.

A little more than halfway through the period, Maxime Talbot put the Avs on the board with a redirect on a Cory Sarich bomb from the point. The first goal of the game is always good for Colorado as, coming into this game, they were 17-0 when scoring the first goal.

Rather than giving the Avs energy, the goal seemed to fire up the Wild as they kept Colorado pinned in their own zone for enough time that Minny was able to get a wholesale change and two full shifts out of it. Stuck out on the ice for the entire time was Tyson Barrie who's defense is so bad that Zach Parise owned him completely and totally scored a gazillion times. I mean, he had to score because Barrie totally sucks, right? How could a defenseman as bad as him keep someone as talented as Parise off the board?

Minnesota continued to put the pressure on, but the Avs escaped with the lead intact.

Colorado came out of the locker room with renewed focus. While Minnesota was able to break up the scoring chances, the Avs kept coming at them in waves. A few times, the broadcast clearly had problems as there were just streaks of blueberry acorss the screen. Or maybe that was Nathan MacKinnon.

Halfway through the third, the Wild got their first go at a two minutes with the man advantage as MacK was nailed for holding. Although the Wild kept the Avs in their own zone nearly the entire time, the hometown boys killed it off.

The Wild's desperation paid off and sent the Avs scrambling so much that a puck found its way behind Semyon Varlamov. A seemingly harmless shot by Ryan Suter was tipped by Niederreiter to tie it up for the visitors with 3:31 left in the game.

Surely to the dismay of both teams, the game went into overtime, giving each of the division rivals a point in the standings. Most of the overtime was controlled by the Wild, but goaltenders at both ends of the ice stood tall and sent the game to the shoot out.

Roy chose to send his guys out first and started with Duchene, who made it look as easy as can be. A little move, Harding bit, puck in the back of the net. Parise was first for the WIld, and took a slow run up the ice and beat Varly with a beauty of a wrister. Parenteau went second for Colordado and was easily turned away by Harding. Second for Minny was captain Mikko Koivu who put his team up by one. O'Reilly went last for the Avs, but couldn't hit the back of the net. Wild take it 2-1.