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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, October 21st (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (4-3-0) at Minnesota Wild (6-0-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will try to extend their excellent start to the season when they welcome the Colorado Avalanche for this evening's tilt at Xcel Energy Center.

At 6-0-1, the Wild have gained a point in every game this season and the team's lone loss came in a shootout defeat to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Minnesota has 13 points on the year and is tied with Detroit for the Western Conference lead.

Minnesota posted a victory its last time out as it earned a win in St . Louis on Saturday night. Eric Belanger had a goal and an assist, including the go- ahead score, as the Wild rode a great goaltending performance from Josh Harding on their way to a 3-1 victory over the Blues.

Brent Burns and Pavol Demitra also scored for Minnesota, while Harding stopped 33 shots. The Wild remain the only NHL team that has not been handed a regulation loss this season.

The Wild, who are a perfect 3-0 at home this season, will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Calgary.

Meanwhile, the Avalanche will try to rebound from a loss after dropping a contest in Chicago on Friday. Patrick Kane, the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, scored his first NHL goal and added a pair of assists, while Tuomo Ruutu's late goal was the game-winner, as Chicago outlasted the Avalanche, 5-3, at the United Center.

Wojtek Wolski, Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth tallied for the Avalanche, who had a two-game win streak came to an end. Andrew Brunette and Joe Sakic registered two helpers.

Jose Theodore allowed four goals on 26 shots in his second start of the season.

Tonight marks the second portion of a four-game road trip for Colorado, which is 0-3 so far as the visiting team this year. The Avalanche will wrap up the swing with stops in Edmonton and Calgary.

The Wild and Avs split eight meetings last season, but Colorado has taken eight of 14 and nine of the last 16 matchups. However, the Avalanche have lost three of five and five of their last nine tests in St. Paul.

10/21 10:19:05 ET


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