Minnesota Wild moving on from third period collapse

Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) scores the game winning goal during the overtime period...

Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny (26) scores the game winning goal during the overtime period of game one of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center on Apr 17, 2014 in Denver, CO, USA. (Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:42 PM ET

DENVER - Third period collapse?

Huh? What third period collapse?

See, the Minnesota Wild have forgotten about Thursday night already.

All they’re thinking about in the hours before Game 2 in their playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche is the difference between going home Sunday tied 1-1 or down 2-0.

Blowing a two-goal third period lead, giving up the tying goal with 13 seconds left and losing in overtime in Game 1? That might as well have been 10 years ago.

“It’s part of being a pro,” said Wild defenceman Marco Scandella. “It’s not the first time in my career that I’ve had a tough loss. You just have to bounce back. It’s exciting. It’s the playoffs, a series, not one game, and you always have a chance to come back.”

Minnesota winger Zach Parise firmly believes the Wild are 60 minutes away from being exactly where they wanted to be when the series began.

“Split on the road,” said Parise. “It would have been nice to steal two or be up 1-0 right now but we feel good about the way we played.

“I think we did a lot of things we wanted to do, had a lot of offensive zone time and created a lot of chances. We were in control of the game before we kind of handed it away.

“So I would expect us to have a really good game tonight.”

The two schools of thought heading into the second game are that the Avs either got away with one, completing a last-second comeback after being outplayed for 50 minutes, or that Minnesota missed its best chance to take control of the series, and the part of the game they talk about controlling was simply the time it took for all 10 of Colorado’s playoff rookies to get their feet under them.

“We were a little bit nervous at the start,” said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog, who expects to see a much different Avs team tonight.

“The first one is out of the way. We’re going to step on the pedal now and get going.”

Because they, too, understand the difference between splitting or sweeping their first two home games.

“We know our road game has been good all year,” said Landeskog. “So if we can get up 2-0 it will be huge.”

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Avs coach Patrick Roy says Colorado’s leading scorer, Matt Duchene (knee), is probably out for the first round. “I don’t think we’ll see him in this series, he isn’t even skating yet.” ... Third line centre John Mitchell (concussion) is probably out, too. “He’s not close,” said Roy. “He’s not even riding the bike yet.”

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@Sunmedia.ca

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