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Avalanche Implode During 3rd Period, Drop Game One to Wild

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Avs jump out to an early lead, only to collapse in the final frame.

I don't know what just happened. One minute I'm watching a fantastic effort by the Colorado Avalanche, and the next...well, I really don't know what happened next.

Colorado got on the board first with -- wait for it -- a power play goal from Jarome Iginla. The man-advantage resulted from a holding penalty by Jonas Brodin drawn by John Mitchell. Seven seconds later, after a face-off win and some nifty passing from Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon, Iginla would sneak down from the left point and fire one past Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk, giving the Avs a 1-0 lead.

So, last year's 29th-ranked power play would be done for the night, right? Wrong! A little more than two minutes later, Mikko Koivu would be sent to the box after covering the puck during a scramble in front of the Avalanche net. Erik Johnson would rip home a slap shot from the point after receiving a blue line pass from Francois Beauchemin. Not satisfied, Gabriel Landeskog would tap in the game's first even-strength goal before the conclusion of the 1st Period.

The second period was less eventful, with both teams trading a goal. John Mitchell would score for Colorado after a hard-fought shift in the Minnesota zone, and Zach Parise would drive one home for the Wild -- foreshadowing the nightmare that would transpire in the 3rd period.

The final 20 minutes would start off innocently enough, with Colorado pinning Minnesota back in their zone for much of the early going. Then the wheels came off. Not just a couple of them either -- ALL of them. The well-oiled Formula-One machine from the first two periods jettisoned nearly every functioning part, tumbling helplessly toward the barrier wall and exploding into tiny burgundy and blue pieces. The horror...

The aforementioned Zach Parise was the main perpetrator of this brutality, seemingly putting one-billion pucks in the net in a singular burst of inertia. The Avalanche were utterly helpless, fumbling pucks in the neutral zone, committing stupid penalties, and failing to establish any meaningful possession to counteract the onslaught. It was simply brutal.

More analysis in the morning. I'm not sure what to conclude from this right now.