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NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Minnesota



(Sunday, March 5th)

Final Score: Minnesota 5, Colorado 3

St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Marian Gaborik scored a shorthanded goal in the third period to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center.

Gaborik also had an assist while Wes Walz scored twice and notched an assist for the Wild as head coach Jacques Lemaire picked up his 400th victory in the National Hockey League.

Manny Fernandez made 26 saves in the win as the Wild put an end to a four-game losing streak.

Andrew Brunette, Ian Laperriere and John-Michael Liles netted goals for Colorado, which has dropped its last two games. Alex Tanguay had three assists and David Aebischer allowed four goals on 30 shots.

With the score tied at 3-3 in the final frame, the Wild grabbed the lead on shorthanded tally by Gaborik 5:36 in. With Kurtis Foster serving a double- minor for high sticking, Walz forced a turnover in the neutral zone and skated in on a 2-on-1 rush with Gaborik. At the blueline, Walz dished the puck off to Gaborik and from the left circle he let go a wicked wrist shot that sailed past Aebischer and into the top right corner of the net.

The Avalanche had trouble getting any offense going the rest of the way as Tanguay took six minutes worth of penalties down the stretch. With less than a minute to play, the Avs pulled Aebischer and Brian Rolston sealed it with an empty-net goal.

"We were really good tonight," Gaborik said. "The guys were hungry and we really wanted the puck and went after it. We also had fun."

The Avalanche grabbed a 1-0 lead 7:06 into the contest scoring on a two-man advantage. Tanguay controlled the puck at the right circle and slipped a pass to Brunette down low, and he roofed a backhander just under the crossbar for the goal.

Walz tied things up at the 9:36 mark of the first period, netting his 12th goal of the season. Just 23 seconds later, Colorado regained the lead as Laperriere beat Fernandez on his stick side with a snap shot from the slot.

With 2:51 left in the first, Walz tied things up again as he fired a wrister from the right circle that snuck past Aebischer on his short side.

Nick Schultz gave Minnesota a 3-2 edge 6:13 into the middle session. Todd White dropped the puck off for Schultz at the point and he carried the puck to the high slot and sent a wrister past Aebischer high on his glove side.

Just 1:29 into the final frame, Liles evened the score at 3-3 after finding a loose puck in the slot and firing it through Fernandez's five hole through a screen.

Game Notes

Lemaire became the 19th coach in league history to reach the 400-win plateau...Minnesota improved 18-12-1 at home this season...White had two assists in the win...Colorado dropped to 14-15-1 on the road this season...The Wild went 1-for-8 on the power play while the Avalanche went 1-for-6 on the man advantage.

03/06 02:27:33 ET


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