Parise, Wild Force Game 7
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Zach Parise scored early and late on tipped shots, and the Minnesota Wild tacked on two empty-net goals for a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night that sent the first-round playoff series to a decisive Game 7, Wednesday in Colorado.
Parise and Mikko Koivu each had two assists. The teams will meet again in Denver on Wednesday night, with the winner taking on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference semifinals.
Parise scored just 49 seconds into the game and Mikael Granlund made it 2-0 later in the first period, but a costly turnover by Ryan Suter at the end of a failed 5-on-3 situation led to a game-changing short-handed goal for the Avalanche when Paul Stastny scored for the fourth time in the series.
UNDATED (AP) — Just three teams in NHL history have won a playoff series after dropping the first three games. The Los Angeles Kings have put themselves in position to become the fourth after evening their conference quarterfinal series at three games apiece.
Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar each scored twice and Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots as the Kings topped San Jose 4-1. Williams scored 5:39 into the game, but the score was tied 1-1 until the Kings tallied three times in a 2:46 span of the third period. The goals came against Alex Stalock, who made his first NHL playoff start after relieving Antti Niemi the previous two games.
Quick blanked the Sharks after James Sheppard beat him midway through the ond period.
Game 7 is Wednesday in San Jose.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to close out the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games.
Evgeni Malkin registered a hat trick and Matt Niskanen had two assists as the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in Columbus. Malkin's third goal of the night put the Pens ahead 4-0 with 4:38 remaining in the second period, and the four-goal edge held up until Fedor Tyutin, Artem Anisimov and Nick Foligno scored less than five minutes apart in the third. Marc-Andre Fleury blanked the Jackets over the final 4:47 to help Pittsburgh close out the series.
The Penguins will face either the Rangers or Flyers in the next round.