MacKinnon continues to shine as Avalanche trump Wild in OT

The Colorado Avalanche celebrate the game-winning goal by Nathan MacKinnon in Game 5 at the Pepsi...

The Colorado Avalanche celebrate the game-winning goal by Nathan MacKinnon in Game 5 at the Pepsi Center on April 26, 2014. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/AFP)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:14 AM ET

Heaven only knows what Patrick Roy is going to ask his players to put on the table next, but if it works as well as his last request did, they better do it.

A day after the Colorado Avalanche coach challenged his players to put their, um, Joel Quennevilles on the table in Game 5, they responded with courage to spare in a dramatic comeback victory over the stunned Minnesota Wild.

PA Parenteau scored to tie it with 1:14 left in regulation and Nathan MacKinnon won it in overtime to give the Avs a 3-2 series lead heading back to Minnesota.

If Games 3 and 4 are any indication -- the Avs were out-shot 46-22 and 32-12 in a pair of losses -- this thing is headed back to Colorado for a Game 7.

Which is fine with MacKinnon and Co.

“That was indescribable,” MacKinnon said. “We’re a tough group, we’ve been down all year. We knew we’d come back to tie it and thank God we did.”

After being totally dominated in the two games in Minnesota, the Avs hoped a change of scenery was all they needed to re-establish control of the series.

It was.

But it wasn’t easy.

They had a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes, yet found out the hard way that Minnesota had a table, too.

The Wild scored twice in less than two minutes in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Colorado looked dead, but once again, with their goalie on the bench like they did in Game 1, they found a way to get it done.

“When you look around the room at the young club that we have, it’s amazing how we continue to battle,” Jamie McGinn said. “We did it all year and it’s nice to show that we can do it in the playoffs when the stage is set. It just shows how bad we want it and how hard we’re willing to work for each other. We never say never and we never give up.”

The tying goal appeared to be offside, but that, too, was drowned out by the crowd noise in a frenzied Pepsi Center.

“We missed the fans here when we were gone,” Gabriel Landeskog said. “You realize why people talk about home ice advantage so much throughout the year. We feed off the crowd so much, the way every hit matters and the way every shot matters. When you’re an opposing team, I wouldn’t say it puts you on your heels, but you certainly feel that energy against you.”

There wasn’t much of a storm for the Wild to weather in the first period.

Home ice advantage didn’t seem to be much at all in dealing with the problems that plagued them in Denver. Colorado couldn’t break the puck out, couldn’t generate offence and had just two shots on net through the first nine minutes.

Things heated up significantly in the second, with Colorado doing to Minnesota what Minnesota had been doing to them in Games 3 and 4. They held the Wild to zero shots through the first eight minutes and change and took a 1-0 lead on Cody McLeod’s shorthanded goal at 8:04.

Minnesota got that one back at 9:17 when Matt Moulson deflected their second shot of the period past Semyon Varlamov, but Colorado took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission on Nick Holden’s deflection at 12:16.

DUCHENE VERY CLOSE

Colorado’s leading scorer in the regular season, Matt Duchene, went hard at the morning skate, taking regular line rushes Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn. That prompted speculation he’d be back for Game 5, but he still is not ready.


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