Avalanche 3, Wild 2 (SO)

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves, center Ryan O'Reilly scored the only shootout goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Saturday night to sweep the home-and-home.
Left winger Gabriel Landeskog and center Nathan MacKinnon had a goal each and center John Mitchell had two assists for the Avalanche in a penalty-free game.
Centers Mikko Koivu and Matt Cooke scored in the final 3:27 and goalie Josh Harding made 23 saves for the Wild.
Entering Friday, the Wild were 12-2-2 in Denver since Jan. 24, 2008, and had won six of the past seven.
With their recent history, earning a split of the home-and-home seemed probable, but they trailed by two with time running out.
Varlamov was in line for his second shutout in a week when Cooke beat him with a shot in the slot with 3:27 left.
Harding came off for an extra skater in the final minute and Koivu buried a slap shot with 4.3 seconds left to send it to overtime.
After going scoreless in the five-minute overtime, Varlamov and Harding made saves on the first two shooters in the shootout before O'Reilly beat Harding. Wild winger Jason Pomniville was Minnesota's last chance, but he couldn't beat Varlamov and the Wild lost for the second straight night.
Varlamov was impenetrable until the end. He made several key stops and benefitted from a little luck when Cooke's backhander trickled by him and lay on the goal line for a moment.
Varlamov covered it up before the Wild could knock it in, and a video review upheld it was not a goal.
Midway through the second, Minnesota center Torrey Mitchell came in on a late breakaway but Varlamov turned away his shot to keep it 1-0.
The Avalanche made Minnesota pay when defenseman Marco Scandella's turnover ended up on MacKinnon's stick, and the rookie put a wrister by Harding with 7:04 left in the second period to make it 2-0.
Landeskog gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead in the first when his backhand deflected off Harding 2:22 into the game. It was his ninth goal of the season.
NOTES: Avalanche C Paul Stastny returned to the lineup after missing two games with back spasms. ... Minnesota LW Zach Parise played for the second straight night after missing one game with a bruised foot. ... Entering Saturday, Colorado has allowed the fewest goals in the NHL and is fourth in goals-against average at 2.08. ... Wild C Mikael Granlund missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. He has missed four of the last five games overall. ... Avalanche C John Mitchell's two assists gave him 100 career points. ... Coming into Saturday, Minnesota has allowed the fewest 5-on-five goals in the NHL with 32.

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