October 9, 2015 – 3:09 am
by Zach Rastall
From time to time, Zach Parise will have nights that make you feel like the Minnesota Wild got a bargain by signing him to a 13-year, $98 million deal.
Thursday was one of those nights, as Parise notched his first hat trick with Minnesota and helped spark an incredible third-period comeback as the Wild bested the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 to kick off the regular season.
The first period was nothing short of a train wreck for Minnesota. The Wild looked all out of sorts on defense and looked like they were simply going through the motions out on the ice. Parise did get one breakaway opportunity that could’ve given the Wild a 1-0 lead, but his shot rang off the left post and the game remained scoreless for the time being.
Instead, it was the Avalanche who drew first blood and ended up scoring three goals in the first period, including two on the power play.
The two teams traded goals in the second frame, which included a goal by Parise, leaving the score at 4-1 in favor of Colorado at the second intermission. At this point, not even the most optimistic Minnesota fan could’ve predicted the events that would transpire in the third period.
Parise would put the wheels in motion early in the third frame.
With Minnesota working in the offensive zone, Parise got decked by Gabriel Landeskog. However, Parise would put back almost instantaneously while Landeskog left him open, allowing him to take a feed from Jason Pominville and beat Semyon Varmalov to cut Colorado’s lead to 4-2.
Just two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter scored on a wrister, followed shortly thereafter by a goal from Thomas Vanek that was set up by a neutral zone takeaway courtesy of Charlie Coyle.