This isn't over yet. The Colorado Avalanche had a much better effort on the road in Game 6 than they did in Games 3 and 4 against the Minnesota Wild, but they still came up short of finishing the series, losing by a final score of 5-2. The last two goals scored by Minnesota were both empty net goals, causing the final score to look much more lopsided than the game actually was. The shots were even at 23 apiece and the Avalanche spent some time in the offensive zone rather than just constantly defending. Still, it wasn't enough, so the series will come back to Denver for a winner-take-all Game 7.
Early in Game 6, it appeared that it was going to be yet another rough evening for the Avalanche as the Wild scored just 49 seconds into the game and generated all of the early pressure. A few minutes later, Minnesota took a 2-0 lead on a soft goal that goaltender Semyon Varlamov would surely like to have back. But instead of falling into the "here we go again" trap, Colorado stayed calm and leveled out the ice in the next few shifts. The momentum took a huge swing in Colorado's favor when they killed off a 5 on 3 situation and immediately thereafter scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway from Paul Stastny who had just come out of the penalty box.
In the second period, Colorado's power play finally broke through and evened the score at 2 goals each. The Avalanche seemed to be taking control as they outshot the Wild 14 to 6 in that period. Going into the third, things were looking good for the Avalanche, as they were one more good period away from advancing. But it was not to be.
In the third period, Minnesota rediscovered their desperation and pushed hard to stay alive. They killed off a Colorado power play where the Avalanche nearly broke through, and then the Wild took back control of the pace. A tip from Zach Parise gave the wild a 3-2 lead late in the period, and this time there would be no comeback with the goalie pulled for Colorado. A couple of empty net goals later and you have the 5-2 final score. Curiously enough, the 5-2 game was actually a much tighter contest than either of the previous two games at Xcel Energy Center.
Now it will all come down to Game 7 at Pepsi Center. One game will decide whether this incredible season will continue. The Avalanche battled hard all season long to ensure that any such scenario they faced early in the playoffs would be at home, and now they will have their chance to make it count.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Game 7, Hockey, NHL, Paul Stastny, Semyon Varlamov
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