It’s the one that got away.
The Minnesota Wild had a two-goal lead heading into the third period of Thursday’s playoff game against the Colorado Avalanche, and came away with a 5-4 overtime loss. The Avalanche now lead the best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final 1-0, thanks to a thrilling come-from-behind effort.
Paul Stastny scored the overtime winner, after tying the game with 14 seconds left in regulation time. And how about that 18-year-old rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who had a trio of assists in his Stanley Cup playoff debut?
Coughing up such a lead was a point lamented by Wild players afterward.
“We have to learn from it and learn that the game’s not over until it’s over and you have to finish the games,” said Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter, as per Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press.
The Wild also seem to have taken issue with a call that wasn’t made late in the third period.
Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, racing back to keep the puck out of the open net, swatted the puck away but then crashed into the goal, knocking it off. Wild forward Matt Cooke fired the puck toward the net, but play had already been blown dead.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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