NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Minnesota
(Sunday, March 30th)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, Colorado 2 (OT)
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Marian Gaborik scored twice, including the game-winner with 1:50 left in overtime, as the playoff-bound Minnesota Wild edged the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center.
Gaborik took advantage of an Avalanche giveaway to race down the ice on a 2- on-1 with Pavol Demitra. As the duo entered the offensive zone, Gaborik dished the puck across to Demitra, who quickly feed it back to Gaborik for an easy tap-in.
The marker gave Gaborik 80 points on the season, breaking Brian Rolston's franchise record set during the 2005-06 campaign.
Rolston posted a goal and an assist for the Wild, who have won three straight. Niklas Backstrom stopped 24-of-26 shots to earn the win.
"We just want to play good hockey," Rolston said. "Our main focus is to be good and win the division."
Minnesota secured a postseason berth before the game when Nashville suffered a 1-0 overtime loss to Detroit earlier Sunday. The Wild now have 95 points and hold a four-point lead over Colorado for first place in the Northwest Division.
Jeff Finger registered a goal and an assist, and Ruslan Salei also scored for the Avalanche, who had won three straight entering play. Wojtek Wolski collected two assists, while Jose Theodore allowed three goals on 20 shots in defeat.
"Every game is like a playoff," Salei said. "Every point is huge. Unfortunately, we didn't get two, but we got one."
Colorado currently sits sixth in the Western Conference.
Despite holding a 9-6 edge in shots, the Avalanche found themselves down 2-0 at the first intermission.
The Wild got on the board at the 4:56 mark on Rolston's 30th tally of the campaign, marking the third consecutive season the veteran forward reached the 30-goal plateau. Theodore turned aside Kim Johnsson's blast from the right point, but did a poor job of controlling the rebound as Rolston collected the loose puck in the slot and deposited it in the back of the net.
Minnesota then connected on the power play at 8:19 to grab a 2-0 lead. Just as Colorado killed off a two-man advantage for 1:39, Brent Burns slipped the puck to Gaborik in the high slot. The talented Czech then kicked the disc to his stick and snapped a quick wrister past Theodore for his career-high and franchise-high 39th goal of the season.
Finger cut the deficit in half on a backdoor tap-in at the 1:21 mark of the second period, and Salei drew the Avalanche even with 8:01 remaining in the middle stanza. Shortly after Minnesota's Eric Belanger left the penalty box, Salei fired a long, wrist shot from the left point that deflected off the shaft of Nick Schultz's stick and over the glove of Backstrom.
Colorado has lost four straight games away from Denver...The Avalanche have lost five straight in St. Paul...Minnesota finished 1-for-4 on the power play. Colorado went 0-for-3...Minnesota will close out its regular-season home schedule Thursday against Calgary...Colorado will play its final road game Tuesday in Vancouver.
03/30 21:09:51 ET