Avs go 'all-in' for gutsy Game 1 win

Minnesota forward Erik Haula, who already had one goal in his first career playoff game, sent a puck down the ice that looked like it was going to end this game and Roy's goalie-pulling experiment in failure.

MacKinnon was on the right side of the ice and had a great view of Johnson sprinting down the ice to prevent the goal and who knows what else in this series.

"I thought it was going in," MacKinnon said. "It was going to the left. It hopped back. You know, when he dove I just kind of prayed that he [would] keep it out. Thank God he did."

"We're two inches from losing that game," Stastny said. "EJ makes an unbelievable play."

It set up a game-tying goal from Stastny with 14 seconds remaining in the game. That group had been out there since Roy pulled the goalie and with whatever energy they had left, sent this game to overtime. They could barely celebrate.

"When Paulie scored I was happy, but I didn't have much left in the tank to celebrate," MacKinnon said.

They left it on the ice and in doing so crushed a strong effort from a Wild team that deserved better. Minnesota may not have the high-octane stars and riverboat gambler coach, but the Wild have four lines that can play. Zach Parise's line got a goal when Charlie Coyle notched Minnesota's first score of the playoffs. The fourth line got on the board with a huge second-period goal when Jonas Brodin made a nice pass to free up Haula, who beat Varlamov.

The line of Kyle Brodziak, Matt Cooke and Nino Niederreiter looks like one that could give the Avalanche fits at some point in this series with Brodziak scoring Minnesota's final goal

It wasn't enough. Roy and his crew never lost confidence. Even down two goals in the third. Or playing without a goalie for three exciting, exhausting minutes.

It's what they've been doing all season, and for one playoff game it continued.

For about the past month, Roy has been practicing his six-on-five during every morning skate with the hope that one day he'd pull his goalie and the practice would eventually pay off. Did it ever.

"Tonight, it could be a huge moment in our playoff run," Roy said. "I think this win for us should bring a lot of momentum to our team."

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