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Forum and wire reports, Published April 17 2014

Stastny scores winner as Avalanche top Wild in OT of playoff opener

DENVER -- Center Paul Stastny scored at 7:27 of overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series Thursday.

Stastny, who sent the game to overtime with a goal with 13.4 seconds left in regulation, took a pass from rookie center Nathan Mackinnon and beat goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead in the series.

MacKinnon finished with three assists, two of which came on Stastny's goals.

Game 2 is Saturday.

Colorado trailed 4-2 after two periods, but left winger Jamie McGinn cut the margin in half early in the third.

The Avalanche pulled goaltender Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with 3:01 remaining, and it paid off with seconds remaining. Defenseman Tyson Barrie's shot bounced to Stastny on the right side, and he beat goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to tie it up.

Center Kyle Brodziak and left winger Erik Haula sore 2:04 apart late in the second to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead.

Center Charlie Coyle and defenseman Ryan Suter also scored for the Wild.

Bryzgalov made 26 saves for Minnesota, which is trying to duplicate its 2003 first-round upset of the Avalanche, when it was seeded sixth but rallied to beat No. 3 Colorado in seven games.

Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and an assist, and left winger Gabe Landeskog also scored for Colorado. Varlamov stopped 29 shots.

The Wild looked in control in the second by beating Varlamov three times on 12 shots. Suter gave the Wild a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal midway through the period, and after O'Reilly tied it with a blistering slap shot, Haula and Brodziak put Minnesota ahead by two.

McGinn gave Colorado life in the third. O'Reilly stole a bad pass from Brodziak in the Minnesota end and put a shot on Bryzgalov, who made the save. McGinn knocked in the rebound to cut the deficit to one with 12:47 remaining.

That set up Stastny's heroics.

The young Avalanche settled some nerves by scoring first. Landeskog delivered a big hit on Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin, then tipped in a pass from Stastny at 13:14 of the first period.

The celebration didn't last long. Coyle beat a sprawling Varlamov less than two minutes later to tie the game at 1-1.