Colorado Avalanche Logo and Header
Minnesota
Wild
39-35-8
Colorado
Avalanche
30-44-8

25 SOG
41 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MIN
COL
game recap

Wild 4, Avalanche 3

Thursday, 02.03.2011 / 9:44 PM

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) - Andrew Brunette scored twice and Jose Theodore stopped 38 shots, helping the Minnesota Wild hold off a rusty Colorado Avalanche squad for a 4-3 win on Thursday night.

Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also added goals as the Wild won for the sixth time in their past seven games.

The Avalanche started off sluggish in their first contest in more than a week, allowing two goals in a 61-second span at the outset. They were scheduled to play Tuesday in St. Louis after the All-Star break, but it was postponed due to weather.

Milan Hejduk scored twice and Chris Stewart added another with 10.7 seconds remaining for the slumping Avs, who have dropped four of their past five.

Hejduk provided a late spark by scoring 45 seconds into the final period and drawing the Avs to within a goal at 3-2. They had a shot at tying the game when Martin Havlat was called for a double-minor after his stick caught T.J. Galiardi in the face.

But Theodore was at his best with the Wild down a player, turning back one shot after another against his former team.

Bouchard then sealed the win when he backhanded a shot past Craig Anderson for his fifth goal of the season.

Hejduk put the Avs on the board midway through the second period when he took a pass from Kevin Porter on a 2-on-1 break and rolled it past Theodore. Hejduk had just emerged from the penalty box, jumping into the play in Colorado's end and breaking up a pass to set up the rush.

Brunette countered with his second goal of the game, knocking in a loose puck just after a Minnesota power play had expired.

Brodziak and Brunette got the Wild rolling early in the game, scoring twice before many of the fans had time to even settle into their seats. Minnesota nearly added another 17 seconds later when Bouchard glided in on a breakaway, only to be turned away by Anderson.

Later in the first period, Havlat skated in all alone but his shot was stuffed when Anderson stuck out his left skate.

Theodore was on his game as he returned to the net after missing time with a hip injury. The 34-year-old goalie appeared in 91 games for the Avs over the span of three seasons.

Brunette has also haunted his former team as he has 26 points in 42 games against Colorado. He played three seasons with the Avalanche as well.

Colorado was out of sync most of the first period, something Avalanche coach Joe Sacco was hoping to guard against, even putting his team through a rigorous workout the day before. This was the team's first game since a loss to Phoenix on Jan. 26.

Although Ryan O'Reilly missed his sixth straight game with a shoulder injury, Sacco remained optimistic the forward will be ready soon, possibly even Saturday against Anaheim.

O'Reilly has been out since a scary crash in Minnesota on Jan. 14, sliding hard into the boards.

Peter Forsberg participated in the morning skate Thursday as he continues to ponder a comeback. He's been testing his conditioning and the strength of his chronically injured right foot to see if he's even up for a return.

The Swedish star hopes to make a decision soon, especially since the Avalanche is heading out on the road next week for a four-game swing.

"I think right now the ball's in his court," Sacco said. "Peter's the only one that's going to be able to tell us really how he feels."

Notes: Avs D Ryan Wilson turned 24 on Thursday. ... Wild D Marco Scandella missed his seventh straight game with a concussion. ... With Minnesota's win, the season series is tied at 2-2 with two more games to go.

scoring summary
1st Period
00:33
MIN
Kyle Brodziak (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Nick Schultz (11), Cal Clutterbuck (9)
1 - 0 MIN
01:01
MIN
Andrew Brunette (13) Wrap-around - ASST: Antti Miettinen (15), Mikko Koivu (30)
2 - 0 MIN
2nd Period
11:47
COL
Milan Hejduk (16) Wrist shot - ASST: Kevin Porter (6), Kyle Cumiskey (7)
2 - 1 MIN
16:50
MIN
Andrew Brunette (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikko Koivu (31), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (13)
3 - 1 MIN
3rd Period
00:45
COL
Milan Hejduk (17) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Stewart (17), Adam Foote (8)
3 - 2 MIN
11:26
MIN
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (5) Backhand shot - ASST: Marty Havlat (31)
4 - 2 MIN
19:49
COL
Chris Stewart (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Brandon Yip (9), TJ Galiardi (8)
4 - 3 MIN
penalty summary
1st Period
11:47
MIN
Brad Staubitz  Roughing against  Cody McLeod
2nd Period
06:25
COL
Brandon Yip  Fighting (maj) against  Cam Barker
06:25
MIN
Cam Barker  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Yip
09:33
COL
Milan Hejduk  Hooking against  Brad Staubitz
14:50
COL
Ryan O'Byrne  Elbowing against  Antti Miettinen
17:35
COL
Kevin Shattenkirk  Hi-sticking against  Andrew Brunette
3rd Period
03:55
MIN
Marty Havlat  Hi stick - double minor against  TJ Galiardi
goalie stats
José Théodore
SA: 41TOI: 60:00
Saves: 38EV: 31 - 34
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .927SH: 0 - 0
Craig Anderson
SA: 25TOI: 58:11
Saves: 21EV: 12 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 9
SV%: .840SH: 0 - 0
ColoradoAvalanche.com is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and ColoradoAvalanche.com are trademarks of Colorado Avalanche, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2013 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.