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The Sports Xchange, Published April 27 2014

Colorado grabs Game 5 from Wild in dramatic fashion

DENVER – Rookie center Nathan MacKinnon scored 3 minutes, 27 seconds into overtime and the Colorado Avalanche again rallied late to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday night and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 NHL playoff series.

MacKinnon got the puck from center Paul Stastny, went to the slot and beat Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper with a snap shot.

It was MacKinnon’s second goal of the playoffs. He finished with two assists and has 10 points in his first NHL playoff series.

The series shifts to Minnesota for Game 6 on Monday.

Right winger P.A. Parenteau scored with 1:14 left in regulation and the Avalanche rallied late to send Game 5 into overtime tied 3-3 after Wild left winger Zach Parise and center Kyle Brodziak scored 1:51 apart early in the third period to give the Wild a 3-2 lead.

It appeared to be enough, but the Avalanche, like in Game 1, pulled goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 2:22 left and Parenteau scored on an assist from Stastny.

Stastny tied it late in Game 1 and won it in overtime.

Varlamov had 27 saves through regulation. Kuemper had 29 saves after three periods.

Left winger Mark Moulson also scored in regulation for the Wild.

Left winger Cody McLeod and defenseman Nick Holden scored regulation goals for the Avalanche.

The Wild trailed entering the third, but Parise scored his first goal of the playoffs 4:34 into the period to tie it.

Brodziak gave Minnesota the lead with a shot from the point at 6:25 to quiet the home crowd.

Colorado was stymied on the power play, but found success on the penalty kill. After taking a two-minute minor for too many men on the ice, center Ryan O’Reilly and McLeod won a battle for the puck at center ice and then O’Reilly threw the puck to the front where McLeod tipped it past Kuemper to make it 1-0 at 8:04 of the second.

The Avalanche were able to kill the penalty but Minnesota kept control and scored when Moulson tipped in a shot by defenseman Jared Spurgeon 1:13 after McLeod’s goal.

Colorado responded 3:01 later. MacKinnon used another burst of speed to get into the Wild zone and left a drop pass for defenseman Andre Benoit. Benoit’s shot was wide but Holden tipped it past Kuemper to make it 2-1.