VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Ticker) -- The comeback kids live on.
The Minnesota Wild became the first team in NHL history to rally from three games to one deficits twice in the same playoff year, advancing to the Western Conference finals with a stunning 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Pascal Dupuis scored twice as Minnesota stormed back from a two-goal deficit to join the 1971 Montreal Canadiens as the only teams to win a pair of Game Sevens on the road.
In just their third year in the NHL and their first playoff appearance, the Wild will face another unlikely conference finalist, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, for the right to play for the Stanley Cup. The series begins Saturday in Minnesota.
"There's lots to celebrate," Dupuis said. "We made history tonight."
"It's hard to imagine what these guys just accomplished," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "It's pretty amazing, especially trailing, 2-0."
It was a shocking end for the Canucks, who were in total control before a bad bounce late in the second period. Ironically, Vancouver overcame a three games to one deficit in the first round against the St. Louis Blues.
"Some things just aren't meant to be and obviously, this was one of them," Vancouver center Trevor Linden said. "It was probably a team we should have beat, absolutely. But they played well, they played hard and they executed well."
The Canucks picked the worst time for their first three-game losing streak of the season.
"I just think we had a golden opportunity," Vancouver captain Markus Naslund said. "If you have a dream since you were a kid of winning a Stanley Cup and then this happens, it's tough. We just didn't do enough to win. We had them down and we let them back into it - the game and the series."
Dupuis started the Wild's comeback with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the second. Wes Walz tied it just over eight minutes into the third and Darby Hendrickson put Minnesota in front with 5:12 remaining.
Dupuis scored again on the power play less than three minutes later, silencing GM Place.
Vancouver pulled goaltender Dan Cloutier for an extra attacker with 2 1/2 minutes remaining but could not come back against the experts.
"We played our best game of this series tonight and they found a way to win," Canucks coach Marc Crawford said.
The Canucks grabbed a 2-0 lead as defenseman Mattias Ohlund and Todd Bertuzzi scored 61 seconds apart midway through the second period. They limited Minnesota to nine shots through the first 35 minutes and were closing in on their first conference finals appearance since 1994.
With 4 1/2 minutes to go in the period, Vancouver defenseman Marek Malik tried to clear the puck from behind his net. It tipped off the stick of Minnesota's Sergei Zholtok and fluttered over the goal, where Dupuis batted it out of mid-air and by an unsuspecting Cloutier.
"I just saw it at the last moment in the air and batted it in," Dupuis said. "It was lucky."
"We hadn't given them anything up to that point. But sometimes, that happens," Crawford said. "We played almost a perfect two periods. A nothing play, it bounces over everybody and a guy bats it out of the air."
Dupuis' first goal of the series breathed life into the Wild, who tied it on their third shot of the final period.
Antti Laaksonen had the puck along the right boards and tried to backhand it in front. But it hit the skate of Canucks defenseman Nolan Baumgartner and caromed into the slot. With Cloutier leaning the wrong way, Walz wristed the puck into a half-empty net for his seventh playoff goal and fifth of the series.
"It was a good bounce for us," Walz said. "It was sitting there, right in front of me. I had the whole net to shoot at."
"Both their goals to tie the game were just strange bounces," Linden said. "One went over the net and was out of the air and the other was off a skate. The whole series seemed like we had to work so hard for our goals, and they were opportunistic."
Minnesota nearly took the lead with 7:44 left when Sergei Zholtok fired a shot from the top of the slot off Cloutier's mask.
Just 2 1/2 minutes later, Hendrickson blistered a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Cloutier's glove and inside the right goalpost.
"I was just trying to get it on net," said Hendrickson, the only Minnesota native on the Wild roster. "I think there was a bit of a screen. It just found a corner. ... For me to be involved with this team and be in the playoffs, there's not a better feeling."
Vancouver's comeback attempt was dealt a serious blow with 4:26 left when Bertuzzi sent defenseman Andrei Zyuzin sliding into Roloson and was penalized for goaltender interference.
The Wild got an insurance goal with seven seconds left on the ensuing power play as Dupuis got a rebound of Zholtok's shot and pushed it between Cloutier's pads.
As they did a night earlier in Game Six, the Canucks dominated a scoreless first period. They outshot the Wild, 12-6, then finally solved Dwayne Roloson 11:29 into the second.
Moments later, Bertuzzi broke in alone on Roloson and lifted a backhander under the crossbar to end an eight-game scoring drought.