Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 5)

Colorado leads 2-1

Game 1: Sunday, October 27th
Game 2: Tuesday, October 29th
Game 3: Friday, November 29th
Game 4: Saturday, December 21st
Game 5: Saturday, February 15th

Avalanche 2

(8-5-3, 27 pts)

Wild 2

(13-7-0, 31 pts)

2:00 PM ET, November 29, 2002

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 OT T
COL 1 1 0 02
MIN 1 0 1 02

R. Park (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Blake (Avalanche - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

A. Laaksonen (Wild - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Forsberg leaves in second period with groin injury

ST. PAUL, Minn. ( news services) -- Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire believes good teams make their opponents pay for mistakes. If that logic holds, Minnesota's 2-2 tie with the Colorado Avalanche on Friday is further evidence the Wild are becoming a legitimate playoff contender.

Anti Laaksonen

Antti Laaksonen's third-period goal tied the game for Minnesota. Laaksonen picked off an errant pass by Avalanche defenseman Bryan Muir and got off a wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season. It was part of a third period in which the Wild dominated the Avalanche, but were held to just the one goal.

"In the third we tried to be a little bit more agressive on the puck, and to make them pay if they made a mistake,'' said Lemaire. "I could see that their team was as tired as ours, but since we were at home, I thought we had an opportunity.''

The Wild, who began the day tied with Vancouver atop the Northwest Division, had lost their last two games and were somewhat desperate to get a point at home with five of their next six games on the road. Colorado ran its unbeaten streak to six games (2-0-4).

"It's very easy to analyze: We scored two goals and we gave them their two goals,'' said Colorado coach Bob Hartley. "They made us pay for those two big mistakes.''

The teams traded power-play goals in the first period. Colorado scored halfway through the period when Rob Blake's low shot from the top of the left circle was tipped in front of the net by Peter Forsberg. It went between the pads of goalie Dwayne Roloson.

Forsberg left in the second period with a groin injury. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, coach Bob Hartley said he didn't think the injury is too serious but said Forsberg will be re-evaluated before Saturday night's game against the Oilers at the Skyreach Centre.

Minnesota answered in the final minute of the opening period when Richard Park carried the puck into the Avalanche zone on a 2-on-1 break with Pascal Dupuis. Park skated between the circles, then put a low shot past goalie Patrick Roy on the glove side.

The Avalanche played a dominant second period, outshooting the Wild 9-4 and getting the period's only goal. With Minnesota defenseman Brad Bombardir knocked down in the crease, Colorado's Vaclav Nedorost skated across the front of the goal and got off a back-hander. Roloson tried to move to block the shot, but tripped over Bombardir, leaving half the net open for Nedorost.

"I didn't see Bombardir there, and when I tried to move with the puck, I realized I wasn't going to make it,'' said Roloson. "I tried to jump over Bombardir, but I didn't make it.''

Roy finished with 27 saves, 15 in the third period. Roloson had 24 saves.

"You can't look at the result, you need to look at the way we're playing,'' said Roy. "Today we had a good 40 minutes, and then Minnesota played a lot better than us.''

Game notes

Hartley said that Forsberg will be re-evaluated Saturday, and that he did not believe the injury was serious. ... Minnesota's 29-26 advantage in shots on goal marked only the sixth time the Wild have outshot an opponent this season. The Wild's 16 third-period shots were a season high for one period. ... Colorado is now 24-0-4-2 in its past 30 games in which Forsberg has scored.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press