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Preview: Wild at Avalanche

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Apr 29 2014 10:42:50 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 10:42:50 PM CDT

The Central Division champion Colorado Avalanche attempt to continue the home dominance in the series and advance to the next plateau when they host the Minnesota Wild in Game 7 of their Western Conference first-round matchup on Wednesday. The home team has won each of the six games, with four decided by one goal - including three that needed overtime. Minnesota avoided elimination Monday thanks to a brilliant performance by Zach Parise, who registered two goals and two assists in a 5-2 triumph.Colorado has been unable to contain Parise, who has totaled three goals and seven assists while recording at least one point in every game of the series. Meanwhile, the Wild have done a better job keeping Paul Stastny and Calder Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon in check since each registered seven points over the first two contests. Stastny has notched only a goal and an assist in the last four games while MacKinnon has been kept off the scoresheet in three of those contests.TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN2, RDS, FSN North (Minnesota), Altitude (Colorado)ABOUT THE WILD: Coach Mike Yeo may want to consider inserting Mike Rupp into Wednesday's lineup. The 34-year-old left wing, who has yet to play in the series, has appeared in six Game 7s during his career and been on the winning side three times. Rupp has recorded two goals and six assists in 67 career postseason contests, with one tally - the game-winner - and two assists coming as a member of the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup final.ABOUT THE AVALANCHE: It's only fitting that Patrick Roy's first playoff series as a coach reach a seventh game. The Hall-of-Famer appeared in 13 Game 7s as a player, tying him with Scott Stevens for the most in NHL history. Roy, who was 6-7 with two shutouts, may need to have a long discussion with Semyon Varlamov as the Vezina Trophy finalist is 1-2 with an .857 save percentage in three career seventh games.OVERTIME1. While Minnesota's offensive production basically has been the same, Colorado has been much more potent at home. The Wild have scored nine goals on the road and eight at home, while the Avalanche have tallied 13 times in their own building and only three times at Minnesota.2. Colorado's last Game 7 appearance came in 2003, when Roy and the Avalanche lost to the Wild in overtime in the last game of the goaltender's career.3. Parise and MacKinnon share the playoff scoring lead with 10 points apiece.PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Wild 3