NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Colorado
(Thursday, January 24th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Colorado 2
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Pavol Demitra notched the game-winning tally late in the second period as Minnesota edged Colorado, 3-2, at Pepsi Center.
Todd Fedoruk and Brian Rolston also tallied for the Wild, who hit the All-Star break having won their last two games over their division rivals and two of three overall.
Minnesota vaulted over Calgary with the win and assumed first place in the Northwest Division with 59 points.
Niklas Backstrom picked up the win by making 28 stops.
Andrew Brunette and Wojtek Wolski hit the net for the Avalanche, who head into the break with a much-needed rest after dropping three of their last four outings.
Jose Theodore allowed three goals on 37 shots, falling to 4-2-1 in his last seven starts.
After killing off an early disadvantage, the Avalanche tied the score at 2:24 of the second, when Wolski was alone in the slot to redirect a Marek Svatos feed. The tally was Wolski's first since December 31.
However, the Wild assumed control once again, taking a 3-2 lead with 6:19 left in the period on Demitra's easy tap-in from the top of the crease. Kurtis Foster's shot from the right point sailed right to the winger, who collected the puck off his body, curled in front and netted his 10th of the season.
"It was a bad rebound on my part," Theodore said. "The shot was high, so I was kind of surprised a little bit it was going for my face. I just took my glove and it was going to the corner but the guy was cutting across."
Backstrom sealed the win by stopping all 11 shots he faced over the final 20 minutes.
Minnesota picked up the game's first two goals, one from an unlikely and one from a likely source.
Fedoruk, once a renowned puncher, picked up his second goal of the season 5:25 into the contest by tipping home a feed from Demitra, then Rolston added his 17th of the year on the power play at 13:27 on his trademark blazing slapshot.
Brunette got one back for Colorado, when his desperation try from the right side caromed off a Wild skate and in with 28 seconds left in the period.
"I liked the way we played," said Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire. "They were in our end at the end, not really dangerous. "As much as they needed this game, we needed it too."
Theodore's 10 consecutive starts marks his longest span in net since coming over from Montreal in 2006...Colorado forward Scott Parker appeared in his 300th career game...The Wild return to action next Wednesday by hosting Anaheim, and the Avalanche host Chicago also next Wednesday.
01/25 00:22:50 ET