Talent wins out for MacKinnon, Avs

MacKinnon sped the puck up the wall and backhanded the puck to Stastny, who twirled a pass to a gliding-in Landeskog. Landeskog buried it before a stretched Bryzgalov could make the save.

For good measure, it was McKinnon who fed Stastny to seal the game on an empty-netter. A four-point night for MacKinnon following his three-point playoff debut on Thursday, vaulting him up the NHL record books.

"You know what? I'm different than you guys," said Colorado coach Patrick Roy when asked about the points MacKinnon is piling up. "You guys are looking at points. I'm looking at how he performed on both sides of the ice. He's been playing well offensively, yes. He also played well defensively. That's what I want to see from him."

The Avalanche are a fascinating team in these playoffs. They're young. They have guys like MacKinnon who are getting better even as we witness them on the ice.

He said he had three days to think about whether or not his skills would translate to the playoffs. That question has been answered.

The question we're still not sure about is whether a team that isn't a great possession team can thrive over the long haul in this postseason. Even in this win, one in which the Avalanche were dominant, 55.7 percent of the game's shot attempts were in Colorado goalieĀ  Semyon Varlamov's direction.

After the game, Wild coach Mike Yeo brought it up. At times on Saturday, and over the course of their regular season, his team had the Avs hemmed in and controlled play for large stretches.

Then, the game changes in a moment.

"It's kind of one mistake, and it goes the other way," Yeo said after the loss. One mistake and MacKinnon is streaking through the neutral zone, blowing past helpless defenders, working his way to the wall while his linemates drive the net.

One mistake and Landeskog buries a shot or Stastny uses his vision to set up a quality scoring chance. Maybe a goalie change -- Darcy Kuemper was perfect on 14 shots -- will help Minnesota cover up those mistakes. Maybe a return home will help the Wild get their bearings and find a way to slow down MacKinnon and his teammates. They know that's imperative, or else this series will be over faster than MacKinnon on open ice.

"You can't defend on your heels. We were defending on our heels tonight. That's not good enough," Suter said. "You have to get the next one. That has to be the mindset. You can't get frustrated. We didn't play the way we're capable of playing and they played well. They played really well."

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