- Associated Press - Sunday, April 27, 2014

DENVER (AP) - Sometimes, it’s hard for the Colorado Avalanche to remember that Nathan MacKinnon is just 18 years old and only a rookie.

Because he keeps coming through in big moments.

The speedy MacKinnon scored 3:27 into overtime after P.A. Parenteau tied the game late in regulation, helping the Avalanche rally for a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night and a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.

“The kid’s special,” Parenteau said. “I know it’s cliche to say, but it’s pretty impressive to see. … This is the kid we want on our side.”

MacKinnon is having quite the series, with two goals and eight assists.

Surprised at the poise of his No. 1 pick?

“We knew when we drafted him what kind of player we were drafting,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said as the series switches back to Minnesota for Game 6 on Monday. “He had a solid game.”

A memorable one, too. After all, it’s not every day a rookie scores an OT winner in the playoffs.

MacKinnon corralled the puck and poked it past Darcy Kuemper’s glove with two defenders near him. Soon after, MacKinnon was mobbed by teammates.

He deflected the credit, though, saying it should go to Paul Stastny or Gabriel Landeskog for their roles on the play.

“Paulie forced the puck down in their end, Landy got it on the half-wall and I was screaming for it,” MacKinnon said. “Definitely a good play by him.”

MacKinnon’s time in the spotlight was made possible by Parenteau, who scored with 1:14 left after Roy pulled goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 2:22 remaining. The strategy worked out again, just like in Game 1.

There may have been some controversy on Parenteau’s tying goal, though, with Stastny possibly being offsides on the play.

At least, that was the Wild’s take.

“They missed the call and we paid for it,” Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter said. “No excuses. We have to play better in overtime. We’ve got to get more pressure on the kid (MacKinnon) when he comes to the net.”

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