To say that the Monday night’s game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche was an epic showdown is to greatly undersell just what transpired. It took four periods to determine a winner and to get the first goal of the game scored, and it appears that the stage has sen set for a dramatic Game 4 on Thursday.
Goaltending dominated the night as both Darcey Kemper for Minnesota and Semyon Varlamov for Colorado pitch dear perfect games for their teams with Kemper going the distance with the huge Game 3 shutout win.
After coming out in Game 2 looking sluggish and dragging their skates, the Wild were crunching bones early, slamming the Avs into the boards and just generally zeroing in on bodies left and right. At one point, the Avs and just 10 skaters on their bench with a slew of others in the locker room with injuries.
The only player who didn’t bounce back from an injury was Tyson Barrie, who took a knee from Matt Cooke in the second period and never returned to the ice.
Minnesota doled out plenty of hard hits but also took more than a few shots on goal, but Varlamov was a brick wall for the Avs and was a major factor in the Wild’s struggles to convert scoring chances into goals. He’s clearly the MVP for Colorado and he displayed why he could be the breakout star of these Stanley Cup playoffs like Tuukka Rask and Jonathan Quick before him.
But while the Avalanche are still up in the series, Mikael Granlund got the Wild a huge win in overtime as Minnesota earned a game in the series and may have turned the tables on Colorado with a physical win.
One thing we can definitely expect is a high octane battle on Thursday night, as the blood boiled — and occasionally spilled — on Monday night and Game 4 will only be even more vicious and that much more exciting to watch.