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Coming off the best November in franchise history, the Minnesota Wild has a good chance at carrying that momentum into December against a depleted opponent that it has had success against.
The Wild hosts the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, looking to win its sixth straight at home in the series.
Minnesota (14-7-1) won a franchise-record eight games in November, finishing the month with three wins in four games thanks to a big offensive burst. The Wild, which has allowed a league-best 47 goals, has averaged 4.3 goals during that four-game stretch and matched a season high in scoring in Saturday's 6-2 win over Nashville.
Minnesota had five power-play goals in the victory, setting a franchise record for power-play goals in a road game. Mikko Koivu scored twice and added an assist, while Andrew Brunette, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Owen Nolan and Craig Weller also scored.
"The key for us was playing as a team for the whole 60 minutes," said Koivu, who scored the only even-strength goal in the second period. "We kept it kind of tight and got a big win for us."
Koivu has six goals and three assists in the last eight games, during which Minnesota is 5-3-0. Six of those games were played at the Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild is 7-4-1 this season.
The Wild has won five straight at home over the Avalanche (11-12-0), which enters this game dealing with several key injuries. Captain Joe Sakic and defenseman Adam Foote both won't be available on Monday. Sakic has missed eight of the last 11 games (seven with a back injury, one with an infected tooth) and the Avalanche said on Saturday that he will not be with the team on its three-game road trip.
Foote, meanwhile, was placed on injured reserve Saturday due to injuries to his lower back and knee sustained Nov. 22, when he was hit from behind by the Kings' John Zeiler.
The injuries likely will make it difficult for the Avalanche as it tries to win back-to-back games for the first time since shootout victories over Vancouver and Edmonton on Nov. 12 and 15, respectively.
Colorado is coming off a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday. Wojtek Wolski scored twice in the first period and David Jones scored the game-winner 3:42 into the third.
"Any points right now are important for us," said goaltender Andrew Raycroft, who made 17 saves for the win. "We've got to climb back up the ladder. ... We're going the right direction. We've got a lot of injuries and guys are stepping up."
Despite the lack of consistency, Colorado believes it can use its most recent win to put together a run as it embarks on a three-game road trip to Minnesota, Nashville and Dallas. Overall, seven of the Avalanche's next 10 games will be away from home.
"I'm happy with this game," Wolski said. "Right now we are going to look forward to our next game against Minnesota. It's going to be a really hard game, especially with the rivalry we have against them."
The Avalanche's last road win against the Wild was a 2-1 shootout victory on Jan. 6, 2007. Minnesota is 5-0-1 in the last six overall meetings, including a 3-1 victory at Colorado on Nov. 6.