Dany Heatley (©GettyImages)
Dany Heatley (©GettyImages).

Nino Niederreiter nets two as Minnesota eliminate Colorado

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It certainly was a Wild finish to the game in Colorado on Wednesday night. The Minnesota Wild shocked the Colorado Avalanche by defeating them 5-4 in overtime to clinch the series.

Nino Niederreiter scored twice in the game, including the game winner, less than five minutes into the overtime period. Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Jared Spurgeon scored the other goals for the Wild.

Darcy Kuemper stopped 17 shots before having to leave the game due to injury. The injury occurred when Avalanche forward Matt Duchene crashed into Kuemper behind his own net.

Kuemper did attempt to stay in the game, but eventually left with just over eight minutes to go in the third period. I’m astonished as to how Matt Duchene got away with that. He certainly should’ve received a goaltender interference penalty after that incident.

However, Ilya Bryzgalov took over for Kuemper and held off the Avalanche to get the win. The big question now is, how long will Darcy Kuemper be out of the lineup for the Wild.

Despite the injury, this was a fantastic victory for the Wild. Dany Heatley provided some secondary scoring and tallied three points on the night. Nino Niderriter redeemed himself in a big way after taking a stupid penalty early in the game by scoring two goals.

Michael Granlund and Matt Moulson were involved all game long as well. But there was another player that has flown under the radar, and has not been given the credit he deserves in my opinion.

Kyle Brodziak has been instrumental in the Minnesota Wild’s success. He scored two key goals in the series and tallied three assists in last night’s victory. This guy has been unbelievable for this team.

He’s used his speed and his skill in the face-off circle to help give his team the wins they’ve needed to advance to the next round. He’s been one of the real heroes for the Wild.

For Colorado Avalanche Head Coach Patrick, this loss will bring back some painful memories. Roy lost his the final game of his career at the hands of the Minnesota Wild 11 years ago.

However, his team left it all out on the ice in this series. Yes, this loss will be tough to swallow, but it’s not as if this team had a terrible final game.

Paul Stastny scored yet again for Colorado and Erik Johnson scored his first playoff goal as well. Jamie Mcginn and Nick Holden scored the other goals for Colorado. Matt Duchene and PA Parenteau both got two assists on the night as well.

This team has shown plenty of potential and this roster of players will only improve in years to come. Overall, I think Patrick Roy has done a wonderful job with this team, and I’m sure this isn’t the last time we’ll see the Avalanche in the playoffs.

The Minnesota Wild will face the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks in round two. It’s sure to be an exciting series, and hopefully Darcy Kuemper will be able to return from injury to be a part of it. I can’t wait for the action to begin.

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