Zach Parise scored and Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a late empty-net goal for the Wild, who earned the No. 8 seed and will face top-seeded Chicago in the first round of the post-season. Minnesota had a chance to wrap up a spot on Friday, but lost 6-1 at home to Edmonton.
Backstrom came up big in the third period, turning aside 15 shots. He moves to 24-5-3 against the Avalanche.
I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.
— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website