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Blatant Homerism

Wild’s Mikael Granlund scores incredible diving OT game-winner to beat Avs (video)

Despite setting a franchise playoff record with 46 shots on goal — essentially from every conceivable angle — during Game 3 of its series against the Colorado Avalanche, the Minnesota Wild could not solve Semyon Varlamov. The Avs netminder had stonewalled the hometown team all night and had the crease and net locked down like Fort Knox.

But finally, after 65-plus minutes of peppering Semyon Varlamov in a dominant performance where the Wild had the ice tipped towards the Avalanche defensive zone all evening, the 46th shot proved to be the deciding one as Mikael Granlund went Superman while making a spectacular diving shot that finally beat Varlamov, giving the Wild a 1-0 overtime win in an absolute thriller.

With a ton of effort, one quick dash across the front of the net and an unbelievable diving shot and individual effort, Granlund gave the Wild some life and the hope that the team can make this a series. The Avalanche still hold a a 2-games-to-1 advantage heading into Thursday’s showdown at the Xcel Energy Center.

Granlund, who had seven shots on goal in the game, took a pass from Jason Pominville in the corner, sped around behind the net and up the wall while eluding a check by defenseman Jan Hejda. Granlund then spun, broke for the net, skated through a flurry of Avs players before somehow guiding the puck into the net past Varlamov while going to the ice in an incredible individual effort.

Now, Granlund’s game-winner isn’t going cause anyone to forget “The Goal” by Bobby Orr on May 10, 1970, the overtime tally that secured the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins, but Granlund’s goal certainly serves as a decent impression of Orr’s high-flying and legendary heroics.

“The way they play D-zone, if you beat the guy, when you win a battle against that team, you need to go to the net and a lot of times you have a lot of room there,” said Granlund afterward, via the Star Tribune.

But the 22-year-old Finn put his heroics into proper perspective, stating that he and his teammates understand the win is a mere minor step in making this series a winnable one.

“It’s now 2-1,” he said. “We need to focus on the next game. It was one step for us.”

One step after one amazing dive.

(GIF via @PeteBlackburn)