ST PAUL, MN - APRIL 21: Mikael Granlund #64 of the Minnesota Wild shoots the puck as teammate Zach Parise #11 looks on along with Semyon Varlamov #1 and Erik Johnson #6 of the Colorado Avalanche during overtime in Game Three of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 21, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wild defeated the Avalanche 1-0 in overtime.

Get your game notes: Avalanche at Wild


Tonight on CNBC, it’s the Minnesota Wild hosting the Colorado Avalanche starting at 9 :30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Wild center Mikael Granlund scored 5:08 into overtime to give Minnesota its first win of the series in Game 3. Granlund became only the fifth NHL player in the last 75 years to score his first career playoff goal in a 1-0 overtime game. The others were San Jose’s Andrei Zyuzin (1998), Philadelphia’s Ruslan Fedotenko (2002), San Jose’s Niko Dimitrakos (2004) and Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly (2010). O’Reilly had come off the ice two shifts before Granlund potted the winner. Elias Sports Bureau

• The Wild registered a franchise postseason record 46 shots on goal in Game 3, led by Granlund and Zach Parise (seven apiece). Only once has Minnesota registered more shots in a game, regular season or playoffs. That came on Dec. 21, 2002, when they peppered goaltender and current coach Patrick Roy with 47 shots in a 4-2 loss at Pepsi Center.

• Avalanche forward, Nathan MacKinnon (1-6–7) needs two points to become the highest-scoring teenager playing in his first playoff series in the Expansion Era (1968-present). Elias Sports Bureau


• The Avalanche’s top line of Gabriel Landeskog – Paul Stastny – MacKinnon combined for 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) and 20 shots on goal in Games 1 and 2, both wins. In the Game 3 loss, the trio was held without a point on seven shots, primarily by the Wild’s checking line of Matt Cooke – Erik Haula – Justin Fontaine. With the seven-game suspension handed down to Cooke, the task of slowing down the Avs’ top line will be given to rookies Haula and Fontaine and second-year Nino Niederreiter.

• Avs center Joey Hishon is expected to make his NHL debut on the fourth line with wingers Paul Carey and Patrick Bordeleau. The last player to make his debut in the playoffs for the Quebec Nordiques/ Colorado Avalanche franchise was winger Mike Hough in 1985. Hough did not register any points.


If Hishon plays, he will be the 12th Colorado skater to make his NHL playoff debut this season, tying the Avs with Tampa Bay and Columbus for the most playoff debutants this postseason.

• Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper came into Game 3 with three career postseason appearances, all in relief. In 2013, he allowed four goals in 73:27 in Games 4 and 5 vs. Chicago (both losses). After stopping all 14 shots in 26:02 in Game 2 vs. Colorado, Kuemper posted a 22-save shutout in 64:44 in his first postseason start. Kuemper, who set a franchise rookie record with 16 consecutive starts in goal during the regular season, will make his second straight postseason start tonight

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick
Leave a comment

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.