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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, January 24th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Wild (23-18-7) at Colorado Avalanche (26-22-2), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Wild haven't shown many flashes of hope over their last 18 games, but a confidence-building effort over the weekend could help to turn things around.

Minnesota looks to win consecutive games for the first time since mid-December in tonight's meeting with Colorado and jump past the Avalanche in the standings.

The Wild are just 3-11-4 since a seven-game win streak from Nov. 28-Dec. 10 and have not won back-to-back contests in that span. That has the former Western Conference leaders ninth overall in the standings, a point behind the Avalanche.

Minnesota found itself down by a goal in the second period on Saturday versus Dallas, but got goals from Cal Clutterbuck, Chad Rau and Kyle Brodziak over a 59-second span to take control. The barrage was the fastest the Wild have scored three goals in club history.

"Everybody played well out there tonight," said Wild netminder Josh Harding, who ended with 23 saves. "We didn't have the best start, but we battled back and played hard. The young guys stepped up and played really well tonight."

Dany Heatley had a goal and posted a season-high three points, while Devin Setoguchi also scored and had an assist. The duo will look to help the Wild snap an 11-game road losing streak (0-9-2) and get the club its first win away from Minnesota since Dec. 10 at Phoenix. A victory would also put Minnesota back in the playoff picture.

"It would be a really nice place to be," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said of eighth place following practice on Monday. "But, I said this the other day, you can get caught up in looking at the standings and everything [but] the biggest focus for us has to be lets play another game like [Saturday]."

The Avalanche will aim to get back on track after being denied a third straight victory on Sunday with a 3-2 loss to the Ducks. Ryan O'Reilly and Milan Hejduk lit the lamp and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 15 saves.

Colorado outshot Anaheim 15-2 in the first period and 45-18 in the game, but came away empty handed.

"I feel that it's a game we should have at least had a point," Giguere said. "I think on the road, outshooting the other team like that, I thought we were the better team for the most part."

Defenseman Ryan Wilson missed his second game in a row because of a groin issue.

Minnesota had won four straight in this series, including the first of six meetings this year, before Colorado posted a 4-2 win at Minnesota on Dec. 26. Jan Hejda and T.J. Galiardi netted third-period goals to lift the Avalanche.

The Wild have won five of their past six at Colorado.

01/24 10:44:00 ET


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