Avs Aim To Extend Winning Streak To Seven
WILD (26-23-4) at AVALANCHE (30-15-6)
Tonight's game will be broadcast on Altitude and Mile High Sports Radio AM 1510.
: Minnesota 6-3-1; Colorado 7-3-0.
: This is the last of six meetings between the Northwest Division rivals, and Minnesota has won four of the first five. After dropping four in a row, Colorado earned a 4-3 victory against the Wild on Dec. 21 at the Xcel Energy Center.
: Despite being outshot on a regular basis, the Avalanche continues to find ways to win games. They enter Thursday's action with a six-game winning streak and seven victories in their last 10 games.
: Minnesota continued its impressive run on home ice Wednesday night, as Antti Miettinen scored twice in the first period in a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings. With the victory, the Wild improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven games in Minnesota.
"Now that we're moving, things are opening up," Miettinen said.
: Colorado made it six in a row on Sunday, when Craig Anderson
stopped all 27 shots he faced for his fifth shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center.
The Avalanche reached 30 wins in 51 games, the quickest the club has reached the 30-win plateau since the 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship season, when they did it in 47 games.
"When my job looks easy, it's because the guys are doing their job in front of me," Anderson said. "They're blocking shots, they're making plays. We're playing great hockey as a team."
: Miettinen has three two-goal games for the Wild in the last seven contests. … Anderson has won all six games during Colorado's streak and has allowed only two goals in the last four games, while Chris Stewart
has goals in four of his last five.
: Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom is suffering from back problems and was forced to sit on Wednesday. Forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) and Chuck Kobasew (MCL, ACL) and defenseman Clayton Stoner (groin) are out. … Adam Foote
(ankle), Milan Hejduk
(knee), Matt Hendricks (ankle), David Jones
(knee), Ruslan Salei (back) are all on injured reserve. Marek Svatos (chest) is day-to-day, while Ryan Wilson
(head) is expected to return to the lineup tonight against Minnesota.
: The Wild are 24-6-6 in its last 36 games at Xcel Energy Center dating to Feb. 19, 2009.
: "We just have to keep rolling. It's going well right now, but we can't get complacent. Guys are stepping up in different ways and playing their roles, and (goalie Craig Anderson
) is playing solid.
"We're having a lot of fun in the room, but we're not too loose or overconfident. We're playing a complete game, and when we do that, we get results." -- Avs forward T.J. Galiardi