Apr 24, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) gives up a goal to Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (not pictured) in the first period in game four of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild Even Series With Colorado Avalanche

Darcy Kuemper got his second straight win in the Minnesota Wild net, but he got a lot of defensive help as the Colorado Avalanche were held to just 12 shots as the Wild evened the best of 7 first round series at 2 games apiece.

Jared Spurgeon and Charlie Coyle scored for the Wild, pacing them to a 2-0 lead before Lady Byng trophy nominee Ryan O’Reilly got them within one.  The Avalanche would get no closer as the Wild held the Avs top line in check.  Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny combined for just 1 shot on goal and O’Reilly was the only player in white to get more than one shot.

It was the first full game the Avalanche played without defenseman Tyson Barrie, who was knocked out of Game 3 after a knee on knee hit by Matt Cooke.  Cooke was handed a 7 game suspension that began with him sitting out game 4, and spoke to the media apologizing for the incident and stating that it was not his intent to injure Barrie.

Like much of the Western Conference, this series has been exclusively a home team series, and it is now a best of 3 and guaranteed to return to Minnesota for game 6.  When it does, the question is which team will be facing elimination?

Game 5 goes Saturday night in Denver.

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Tags: Avs Charlie Coyle Darcy Kuemper NHL Playoffs Ryan O'reilly

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