NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Colorado
(Thursday, November 6th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Colorado 1
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Niklas Backstrom stopped all but one of Colorado's 36 shots to help send the Minnesota Wild past the Avalanche, 3-1, at the Pepsi Center.
Former Avalanche winger Andrew Brunette notched a goal as did Benoit Pouliot and Pierre-Marc Bouchard for the Wild, who had dropped three of four coming into this contest. Minnesota is now 5-2-0 on the road this year and puts the wraps on a four-game road trip in Vancouver on Saturday. Marek Zidlicky had two assists.
"I felt good tonight. It's fun right now to come to the rink," Backstrom said.
Darcy Tucker scored the lone goal and Peter Budaj allowed three goals on 20 shots for the Avalanche, who were without centerman Joe Sakic due to a strained back.
Colorado extended its losing streak to five games after winning five straight and hosts Nashville on Saturday. The Avalanche are now 3-4-0 at the Pepsi Center this year.
"We're keeping the tempo up and moved the puck well in the second and third, but we can't expect to go down 2-0 and come back," Tucker said.
Minnesota notched the game's opening goal just 3:35 in. Stephane Veilleux worked the puck along the right boards and fed Zidlicky at the right circle for a shot that was knocked down but Budaj left the rebound in front and Bouchard used two pokes before the puck slid across the goal-line.
Pouliot stuffed home a rebound from a Zidlicky shot on the power play a little over four minutes later for a quick two-goal advantage heading to the second.
Brunette made it 3-0 midway through the second. He camped himself to the right of Budaj and took a pass from behind the net from Antti Miettinen for a bang- bang goal.
Colorado finally got on the board when T.J. Hensick threw the puck in front from the left boards and Tucker jabbed at the rebound before getting it past Backstrom about 2 1/2 minutes later.
Backstrom held his ground, though, with just over two minutes left in the frame and made a stop on a point-blank tip in front from Ben Guite to keep it a two-goal game heading to the final period.
"I saw him coming and I cheated out on him a little bit and got lucky," Backstrom said of the play.
Backstrom proceeded to make Minnesota's early lead stand up, stopping all 12 of Colorado's shots in the third for the victory.
The Wild won all four of their home tests against Colorado last year, but lost three of four in Colorado. Minnesota has won nine of the last 13 in the series overall...Wild defenseman Brent Burns was sent home to Minnesota Thursday to rest an upper-body injury that forced him out of the past two games. Burns will also miss a road test against Vancouver Saturday before the Wild return home....Avalanche defensemen Scott Hannan (flu-like symptoms) and Daniel Tjarnqvist (foot) were unavailable for Thursday's game...Colorado recalled forward Hensick and defenseman Kyle Cumiskey from Lake Erie of the American Hockey league Thursday.
11/07 00:20:19 ET