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jokergreen Oct 18
DENVER -- Patrick Roy showed as much boldness behind the bench as he once did as a Hall of Fame goaltender. Mike Williams Jersey . The first-year Colorado coach made some risky moves late in the game -- like pulling his goaltender with 3:01 remaining -- and yet the ploy worked out. Its been that kind of season for Roy and his youthful squad. Paul Stastny scored 7:27 into overtime after tying the game with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation, lifting the Avalanche to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild in the opener of the Western Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night. "We believe in ourselves," said Roy, who won two Stanley Cup titles for the Avalanche as a player and helped guide the team back to the playoffs for the first time in four years. "Sometimes, youre not playing your best game, but the quality of our team is we found a way to win this game. Thats what you want in the playoffs." Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan OReilly and Jamie McGinn also added goals for Colorado. Stastny beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a close-in wrist shot in overtime, the same type of play Stastny used to tie the game in regulation. Not that the Avalanche were too surprised by the late rally because, "weve done it all year," Stastny said. Its becoming their calling card. "Once again, it shows character in this dressing room," Landeskog said. "Theres no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home ice advantage and we werent going to let this one slide." This was a stunner for the Wild. "Its really disappointing. Were in the drivers seat," said Zach Parise, who had two assists. "Were in a really good position going into the third and really throughout the third we were in a good position. We made some mistakes and it was in our net and thats the game." Erik Haula, Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild, who try to bounce back Saturday in Game 2. "You have to learn from it," Suter said. "Learn that the games not over until its over and you have the finish the games." Roy made a bold move with just over three minutes remaining, pulling Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater. Erik Johnson saved a potential empty-net goal with over a minute left as he raced down the ice and slapped away the puck just before it crossed the goal line. Moments later, Stastny beat Bryzgalov with a shot over his shoulder -- the capacity crowd erupted. The Wild took a 4-2 lead after a three-goal second period. They spent the final period trying to play a prevent defence, not allowing the Avalanche to take advantage of their quickness. OReilly stole the puck from Brodziak and slid it over to McGinn, who batted it past Bryzgalov to make it a one-goal game at 12:47. Roy hardly played things by the book as the team tied a franchise record with 52 wins in the regular season. That gamblers mentality certainly didnt change in the post-season. Roy said before the game that it was his job to "have a B plan and a C plan in our pocket" in case of an emergency. In this case, it was pulling Varlamov with plenty of time remaining. "Almost did it at four minutes," Roy said, smiling. Roys strategy almost backfired when the Wild sent a puck rolling toward the goal. Johnson chased it down and knocked the puck away before it crossed the line. He also bumped the goal off its moorings. Matt Cooke took a shot on the goal with Johnson lying in front of the net, which upset a few Avalanche players and led to some pushing and shoving. A big play overshadowed a bit by Stastnys theatrics. "What a comeback," Johnson said. "Thats the kind of stuff you dream about when youre a kid, winning playoff games like that." Although the underdog in the series, the Wild were actually one of the hottest teams down the stretch as they fought just to get into the playoffs. Bryzgalov provided a spark after he was acquired from Edmonton in early March. He went 7-1-3 down the stretch. But Bryzgalov has been inconsistent in the post-season over his career. Hes 17-20 and has allowed 109 goals. "Ive got no problem with his game," Wild coach Mike Yeo said of Bryzgalov. "Were all sitting here disappointed we didnt win the hockey game." NOTES: Earlier in the day, Wild players wore shirts that featured a picture of the Stanley Cup on the back with the slogan, "Take it baby!" above the coveted trophy. ... Avs rookie Nathan MacKinnon finished with three assists. Kyle Emanuel Jersey . -- Mississippis Andrew Ritter said his game-winning, 41-yard field goal felt good off his foot. Derwin James Jersey . Thats when the eight-time champion revealed that a painful back is slowing his serves -- and, all in all, giving him more trouble than his opponents so far.ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired infielder Logan Forsythe, pitcher Brad Boxberger and three minor leaguers from the San Diego Padres in exchange for pitchers Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn. Forsythe hit .214 in 75 games with the Padres last season. Boxberger split time between San Diego and Triple-A Tucson, appearing in 18 games and compiling a 2.86 ERA with 24 strikeoutts in 22 innings. Keenan Allen Jersey. Torres went 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 39 appearances with the Rays, raking third among AL relievers with a .159 opponents batting average. Hahn went 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 19 starts at Class-A Charlotte last season. The Rays also received pitchers Matt Andriese and Matt Lollis, as well as infielder Maxx Tissenbaum in the deal completed Wednesday. 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