DENVER (AP) — Erik Johnson saved the night for the Colorado Avalanche with his quick feet and thinking.
The defenseman raced from the blue line to the goal line and swatted away a puck just three inches shy of sliding in for a game-sealing, empty-net goal by Minnesota late in regulation.
His stop during a 5-4 overtime win may have been overshadowed by the theatrics of Paul Stastny, who tied the game with 13.4 seconds left and then scored the OT winner.
But Johnson's play certainly wasn't lost on the Avalanche as they take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series into Game 2 on Saturday.
Stastny said: "If that doesn't happen, that hustle out of E.J., we're not here in this moment."