The Colorado Avalanche snatched yet another victory from the Minnesota Wild in Saturday night's Game 5. Trailing by a goal with just over a minute to go, they tied the game with the net empty, then scored the overtime winner early in the extra frame to triumph by a score of 4-3.
And in case the whole thing wasn't already eerily reminiscient of Game 1, Nathan MacKinnon once again created the final tally. The main difference was that, this time, he scored it rather than setting it up. Here's the huge goal that put Colorado a game away from the second-round:
Dare I say Nathan MacKinnon has arrived? I guess he arrived in Game 2, so I'll simply say this: Nathan MacKinnon is still here. He's probably going to be here a while.
But the OT winner is likely not the goal that people will be talking about come tomorrow. That'll be P.A. Parenteau's game-tying goal, which came with Semyon Varlamov on the bench and over a minute to go:
This goal could signal two seismic shifts in the NHL. For one thing, it marks the second time in this series, after Game 1, that Patrick Roy has pulled his goalie with about three minutes to go and gotten a game-tying goal out of it.
Consider that for a moment: if not for Roy's outside-the-box approach to this late-game tactic, the Avalanche's playoff run is done. They lose Game 1, and they lose Game 5. That's four losses, and they're done. It seems pretty safe to assume that other coaches have noticed the impact of this bold move. Expect to see more early goalie pulls.
But this goal may also contribute to the NHL's eventual decision to go to video and review important goals, because the rush that leads to this goal appears to have been offside. Here's a screengrab of the puck crossing the blue line:
Paul Stastny's back skate is off the ice. He's in the zone. The puck isn't, and neither is the linesman that blew this call.
He's behind the line, looking at the moment of entry from a terrible vantage point. And as a result, his whistle doesn't blow when it should.
Granted, the Avalanche have certainly been more offside on goals in the past, but that's little consolation for the Wild, who are heading back to Minnesota with a chance to win this series if this call goes the way it likely should have -- and would have, with video review. (Never mind the obvious interference call that probably should have been called just before the Avalanche turned the puck up ice.)
"It's a damn shame," said Ryan Suter, of the missed call.
But there's no going back on it now. The Wild need to look ahead. As Zach Parise said, "We said we had to win a game here [in Colorado]. It wasn't this one, so it has to be game 7."
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