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game recap

Wild 3, Avalanche 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Associated Press

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Wild 3, Avalanche 2
Colorado Avalanche 2, Minnesota Wild 3

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Niklas Backstrom turned in another strong performance with 23 saves, and the Minnesota Wild hung on to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, on Wednesday night.

Antti Miettinen, Martin Havlat and John Madden scored for the Wild, who overcame a two-goal game by David Jones. The Avalanche, still waiting on Peter Forsberg's visa clearance, played without captain Adam Foote and lost another defenseman, Kyle Cumiskey, to a head injury in the first period.

The Avalanche fell to 3-8 in its last 11 games, and Craig Anderson lost his sixth straight start, giving up 21 goals over those games. He was pulled in the second period for Peter Budaj.

Backstrom improved to 16-4-2 in 22 starts against the Avalanche. He has given up two goals or less in five of six starts, with wins in four to help the Wild climb back in the Western Conference playoff race.

The first period featured three goals in a 51-second span. With Andrew Brunette screening Anderson and then deftly lifting defenseman Ryan Wilson's stick, Miettinen's power-play slap shot sped past Anderson to make him the eighth Wild player with at least 10 goals this season.

Just as the public address announcer was giving the recap, Jones snatched a loose puck off a faceoff and sent a shot between Backstrom's legs to tie it and prompt a groan from the crowd.

Havlat, however, responded with his team-high 15th goal just 40 seconds later. The all-star produced one of his finest goals in two years with the Wild, muscling the puck away from Paul Stastny behind the net and pivoting to push a forehand past Anderson.

Jones could have had a hat trick, but his goal in the second period was immediately waved off, a ruling confirmed by the replay officials.

Madden, with Brad Staubitz screening Anderson, followed a few minutes later by reaching forward and zipping a snap shot into the back of the net as he did the splits. Budaj was summoned from the bench after that.

The Wild improved to 12-4-1 in division games, getting an important bounce back from a 1-0 loss at Phoenix on Saturday.

The Avalanche caught a break 23 seconds into the third period when Wild all-star defenseman Brent Burns gave the puck away along the back boards. Jones snagged it and flipped a pass from behind the net that appeared to deflect off Minnesota's Nick Schultz in a flukey fashion before pinballing in the net to cut the lead to 3-2.

Burns drove hard to the net midway through the final frame, aggression that the Avalanche didn't like, prompting a scrum that sent three Minnesota players and two Colorado skaters to the penalty box. Havlat and Wilson were involved in the most intense tussle.

Notes: Brunette was given a watch, a commemorative silver stick and a $15,000 check for his hometown youth hockey association in Ontario in honor of reaching 1,000 career games last week. Brunette's brother and his golden retriever led the crowd in the traditional "Let's Play Hockey!" chant before the puck drop. ... Wild C Matt Cullen, who returned from a one-game absence due to an upper body injury, notched his second multi-assist game of the season and the first since Oct. 16. ... The first intermission was stretched out by a few more minutes due to a Zamboni malfunction.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Antti Miettinen (10) ASST: Matt Cullen (22), Brent Burns (18)
1 - 0 MIN
David Jones (17) ASST: Matt Duchene (26)
1 - 1 Tie
Martin Havlat (15) ASST: Kyle Brodziak (11), Cal Clutterbuck (10)
2 - 1 MIN
2nd Period
John Madden (8) ASST: Matt Cullen (23), Jared Spurgeon (2)
3 - 1 MIN
3rd Period
David Jones (18) ASST: Milan Hejduk (28)
3 - 2 MIN
penalty summary
1st Period
Ryan O'Byrne  Boarding against  Chuck Kobasew
2nd Period
Brent Burns  Interference against  Paul Stastny
Mikko Koivu  Tripping against  Brandon Yip
3rd Period
Matt Hunwick  Tripping against  Chuck Kobasew
Daniel Winnik  Cross checking against  Jared Spurgeon
Martin Havlat  Roughing against  Brandon Yip
Cal Clutterbuck  Roughing against  Ryan Wilson
Brent Burns  Roughing against  Kevin Shattenkirk
Ryan Wilson  Roughing against  Cal Clutterbuck
Brandon Yip  Roughing against  Brent Burns
Brent Burns  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Milan Hejduk  Hooking against  Greg Zanon
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
SA: 7TOI: 28:22
Saves: 7EV: 4 - 4
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Craig Anderson
SA: 17TOI: 30:42
Saves: 14EV: 11 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .824SH: 2 - 2
Niklas Backstrom
Niklas Backstrom
SA: 25TOI: 60:00
Saves: 23EV: 20 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .920SH: 0 - 0 is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and 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 © 1999-2015 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.