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Minnesota
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39-35-8
Colorado
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30-44-8

32 SOG
40 SOG
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Avalanche Welcomes Wild For Northwest Battle

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

NHL.com

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Avalanche Welcomes Wild For Northwest Battle
Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche
WILD (11-8-2) at AVALANCHE (12-9-1)

TV -- FS-N (HD), ALT (HD)

Last 10 --
Minnesota 6-4-0; Colorado 6-4-0

Season series -- First meeting of six for a pair of teams running right on top of each other in the Northwest Division. The Wild have taken five of six in each of the last two seasons, going 13-2-2 in the last 17 overall meetings. They also have a three-game winning streak at Pepsi Center, the last two of those by 1-0 scores. The Wild have three shutouts over a 5-0-1 stretch in Denver.

Big story --
After winning four in a row, the Avs have dropped a pair of games and now have to stave off a bigger slide with one of the hottest road teams in the NHL coming to town. Minnesota has won six of seven away from Xcel Energy Center and managed to stop a two-game slump of its own with a win over Nashville on Friday. The teams form two-thirds of a three-team struggle atop the Northwest Division along with the Canucks.

Team scope:

Wild -- Friday's matinee with the Predators was a bit out of character for the Wild in some ways, less so in others. They had built a reputation for relying on the fourth-best power play in the NHL a little too much, but not against the Predators. They scored five 5-on-5 goals in their 5-2 win, thanks to a big boost from Martin Havlat, who scored a pair and picked up an assist. It was the first time the Wild scored five even-strength goals in a game since they did it to the Maple Leafs on January 7, 2009, a 6-1 win.

"Everybody played well tonight," said Havlat, who was a plus-3 along with Marek Zidlicky and linemates Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cullen.

What might not have been so odd was this outburst coming in a game versus the Preds, against whom the Wild hold a 5-2-0 record in their last seven games at home and Havlat has 34 points in 34 career games.

Avalanche -- The Avalanche played the only NHL game on American Thanksgiving up in Edmonton and turned in a turkey, going down 2-0 in the first four minutes, then pulling even again only to have the game taken away when Taylor Hall scored with 29 seconds left in regulation to pull out a 3-2 win for the Oilers.

"We didn't have a good start to the game," coach Joe Sacco said. "We had a few guys that weren't ready when the puck dropped and that cost us a couple of goals. You certainly don't want to give up a goal in the last minute of the game."

Who's hot --
Before they hit the two-game bump, the Avs had scored 19 goals in four straight wins. Matt Duchene has three goals in his last four games. … Havlat has 11 points in his last seven games for the Wild.

Injury report --
Avs goalie Craig Anderson got a game in coming off his knee injury, then proceeded to suffer a groin injury his second game back. He's currently being listed as day-to-day. Jason Bacashihua was called in to back up Peter Budaj. Defenseman Adam Foote is out indefinitely with a leg injury suffered Wednesday against Vancouver.

Minnesota winger Guillaume Latendresse underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum and bilateral sports hernia. A late-season return would be seen as a bonus. Forward Chuck Kobasew (groin) has been out nine games but returned to practice Tuesday. Zidlicky missed Wednesday's game with a leg injury but bounced back nicely on Friday with a goal and two assists.

Stat pack -- Before Friday's flurry, the Wild had scored only 13 goals in their last eight home games, and hadn't scored five since Oct. 19, a 6-2 home win over the Canucks. … In eight of the Avs' nine regulation losses, they've scored two goals or fewer. … Budaj, handling most of the goaltending duties with Anderson out, has allowed three goals in each of his last six appearances, and is 3-3-0 in that stretch. Budaj is 1-2-1 in his last four starts against the Wild, but has a 1.44 goals-against average. … On the other hand, Minnesota's expected Saturday starter, Niklas Backstrom, is 14-3-2 with a 2.10 GAA and two shutouts against the Avs.

Puck drop -- "That's the Marty of old with speed like that and coming down making plays. He makes a move and gets it to the net. … He's been playing well the last while. We can be a really good team when we get him going." -- Wild defenseman Nick Schultz on Havlat's eye-opening performance Friday


2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 08 '11 COL 2 at MIN 5 J. Madden
Feb 09 '11 COL 2 at MIN 3 J. Madden
Feb 03 '11 MIN 4 at COL 3 P. Bouchard
Jan 14 '11 COL 4 at MIN 1 M. Hejduk
Dec 23 '10 MIN 3 at COL 1 M. Cullen
Nov 27 '10 MIN 4 at COL 7 K. Shattenkirk
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Havlat2251722+3402
M. Koivu2241418+32032
M. Cullen2251217-21240
B. Burns206612-53340
A. Miettinen176612-4431
M. Zidlicky163912+21610
A. Brunette224711-4421
C. Clutterbuck22729-21632
J. Madden22437-9202
N. Schultz22257-21400
K. Brodziak22426+41300
G. Latendresse8336+2811
P. O'Sullivan13213+0200
C. Barker18033-8800
E. Nystrom22112-81500
J. Falk18022-1600
C. Stoner11022+02200
C. Kobasew11101-7600
G. Zanon22011+01600
B. Staubitz21011-33800
C. Wellman12011-1400
M. Scandella5011-2200
R. Earl6000-3000
C. Almond4000-1000
C. Gillies3000+0000
M. Kassian3000-11200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom178-7-2455352.66.916
J. Theodore63-2-0141792.66.922
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Hejduk2381826-3450
C. Stewart23111425-23653
J. Liles2341923+101320
P. Stastny2391322-42021
M. Duchene2361521+92110
D. Jones2010515+8400
B. Yip215510+12311
K. Shattenkirk124610+2411
D. Winnik23538-21201
G. Mauldin9347+5201
R. O'Reilly23167+4200
K. Porter17516+91013
T. Galiardi14336+2800
S. Hannan23066+1600
P. Dupuis21235+21100
K. Cumiskey11145+0800
R. Wilson18055+31100
C. McLeod23224-39010
A. Foote12033-1700
D. Van Der Gulik5112+3200
R. O'Byrne12022+41500
J. Holos12022+3200
M. Olver4022+1200
D. Liffiton4101+31700
K. Quincey15000-21200
C. Cohen3000-1400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
P. Budaj159-5-1434272.92.899
C. Anderson94-4-0242702.89.911
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