|5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� BRT, March 13, 2018
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota Attendance: 19,171
Avalanche prepare for rematch with Wild after rout
Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild
- The Avalanche won, 5-2, versus Arizona on Saturday. Colorado has now earned points in seven straight games (4-0-3). It is the second time this season the Avalanche have earned points in 7+ consecutive games (went 10-0-0 from December 29 through January 22), after having zero such streaks from 2014-15 through 2016-17.
- Colorado has scored a power-play goal in a season-high seven consecutive games. It is the first time the Avalanche have scored a PPG in 7+ consecutive games since March 11-25, 2007 (7 straight). The last time they had PPG in 8+ consecutive games was January 14-31, 2016 (8 straight).
- The Wild lost at Edmonton, 4-1, on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak. Minnesota has scored at least four goals in seven of its last eight wins. The Wild have won 23 straight games when scoring 4+ goals.
- This is the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the Avalanche and the Wild. Colorado won the last two meetings, scoring seven goals in each contest, and Minnesota won the first meeting of the season, 3-2 in a shootout, on November 24 in Minnesota.
- Nathan MacKinnon is riding an eight-game scoring streak, the third-longest point streak of his career (13 straight in 2013-14 and nine straight earlier this season -- December 29, 2017 through January 20, 2018). Since February 20 (last 10 games), MacKinnon leads the NHL with 20 points and teammate Mikko Rantanen is fourth with 16.
- Eric Staal has scored a goal in each of his last four home games (7 goals total), in six of his last seven at home and eight of his last 10 home tilts. Staal's 12 home goals since the beginning of February (in just 10 home games) is second in the NHL (Connor McDavid, Edm -- 13).
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- In the first-ever Minnesota Wild playoff series 15 years ago, the upstart team in only its third season after expansion rallied from a 3-1 deficit to upset the then-mighty Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the opening round.
It was the start of a budding rivalry as the teams were both in the Northwest Division for more than a decade and now face each other in Central Division matchups several times per year.
The latest will take place on Tuesday when the Avalanche come to Minnesota in need of a win versus a Wild team that may be bent on revenge.
It has been barely a week since the Wild visited Denver and limped home after a humbling 7-1 loss to Colorado - a game that both teams will certainly have in mind during this rematch.
"The difference in that game is we came out and had a real good start," Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog said Monday after the team practiced in Colorado, then boarded an eastbound plane.
"We seem to feed off a good start, but we're going to expect these guys to come out hard and to play a lot harder than they did in our building. I'm sure they want to show us they're not ready to give up a playoff spot to us, so it's going to be a fun game."
The Colorado goaltending situation is in flux. Jonathan Bernier had to leave Saturday's 5-2 win over the Coyotes when he took a puck to the head. If he cannot go in Minnesota and has to miss time, the Avalanche are confident that mainstay Semyon Varlamov can fill the gap in the crease.
"He's been great," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said of Varlamov, who has an 18-13-6 record this season. "He had some time off when he re-tweaked his groin there midseason, so we gave him three weeks or so off, and he's getting lots of rest on practice days. He looks good, feels good, so not a problem with him carrying the load."
In Minnesota, Eric Staal has been carrying the load offensively, and even more than a week later he admits the blowout loss in Colorado is under consideration with another crack at the Avs coming at home.
"I think it's in the back of your mind a little bit for sure," Staal said after Minnesota's Monday practice. "They've spanked us pretty good twice in their barn, we're coming off a good practice day today, another opportunity at home, and the points are huge."
It's that odd time of year for the Wild where Xcel Energy Center is the epicenter of all things hockey in Minnesota, meaning the NHL team gets home games early in the week and the amateurs take center stage on weekends.
The Wild traveled to Vancouver and Edmonton last weekend while the legendary Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament was played at the NHL rink.
This weekend, the Wild will travel to Las Vegas and Arizona to make way for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference postseason tournament at Exel.
Updated March 12, 2018