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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 30th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Wild (3-3) at Colorado Avalanche (3-3), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A decisive seventh game is on tap Wednesday in the Mile High City, as the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild meet one last time to determine who gets to move on in the playoffs.

The Avalanche hope the trend of home teams winning games in this series extends to tonight's meeting at the Pepsi Center. Colorado is 3-0 in Denver in this Western Conference quarterfinal matchup, while the Wild won all three of their home tests at Xcel Energy Center.

The winner of this evening's game moves on to face the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in the next round. The Blackhawks eliminated the St. Louis Blues in six games on Sunday.

Minnesota won its final home game of the series on Monday to force tonight's do-or-die battle. The Wild won Game 6 by a 5-2 score, but the contest was much closer than the final count indicated.

The teams were knotted at 2-2 following 40 minutes of play, but Wild captain Zach Parise's second goal of the game broke the deadlock with 6:29 remaining in the third period. Parise had four points on two goals and two assists in Game 6 to help lead his club to this evening's decisive battle.

Following Parise's tie-breaking goal. Minnesota scored twice on an empty net after Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov early again -- a strategy that had worked twice earlier in the series.

"It was another tough one going into the third period in a game we needed to win," said Parise. "There was a lot on the line for us and I thought for the most part we played a pretty solid game and dictated a lot of the play."

Parise had Avs defenseman Erik Johnson on his back near the crease when he got his stick on Mikko Koivu's shot from the left boards just inside the blue line to tip it past Varlamov for the game-winner.

The Wild rebounded from Saturday's tough Game 5 loss, when the Avs tied the game after Varlamov came out with 2:22 left in regulation. Nathan MacKinnon's goal 3:27 into overtime gave Colorado a 4-3 win, but there was no such magic on Monday.

"It sucks to lose but we don't have any time to hang our heads," said Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog. "There's no time for us to feel sorry for ourselves. It's Game 7 at home and it doesn't get any better than that."

Varlamov skated off with 2:44 left in this one, but Jason Pominville and Marco Scandella scored into the empty net to seal the win for Minnesota.

Mikael Granlund also had a goal and Darcy Kuemper made 21 saves, only facing three shots in the third period.

Paul Stastny and Nick Holden scored for the Central Division-champion Avs, both off passes from Ryan O'Reilly, and Varlamov stopped 18 shots.

Star center Matt Duchene returned for Colorado after missing a month with a knee injury and had an assist in nearly 19 minutes of ice time.

"It's all or nothing now," said Duchene. "Win or go home and I think it's a great opportunity for a lot of us in here, a great experience."

The Colorado franchise, which was formerly known as the Quebec Nordiques, is 6-6 all-time in Game 7s, but 0-1 in this situation when facing the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota posted a 3-2 overtime win against the Avs on April 22, 2003 to help the sixth-seeded Wild upset Colorado in seven games.

The only other Game 7 in Wild history came later in the 2003 playoffs, when Minnesota beat the Canucks in Vancouver on May 8.

This will be Roy's first Game 7 behind the bench, but the former star goaltender was involved in 13 Game 7s during his Hall of Fame playing career, tying Scott Stevens for the most in league history.

04/30 10:36:29 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
 
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
4th
TOL 27
BST 16
 
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
 
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
 
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
 
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
 
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
 
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
 
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
 
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
 
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
 
3rd
ARZ 13
CAL 28
 
Half
ORST 14
SDST 7
 
Half
WASU 21
OREG 21
 
2nd
BSU 21
LALAF 3
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0