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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 4, Wild 2

MacKinnon, Rantanen led Colorado with two points each

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Mikko Rantanen (one goal, one assist) and Nathan MacKinnon (two assists) each had two-point games to help the Colorado Avalanche earn a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Ryan Graves scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining in regulation and Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves, including denying all 12 shots he faced in the final frame.

Colorado tallied twice in the first 5:57 of the outing, but Minnesota came back to tie it midway through the second period. Gabriel Landeskog scored the eventual game-winner with 1:06 left in the middle stanza.

Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter had a goal and assist in the contest. Zach Parise also found the back of the net for the Wild.

Statistics | Notes & Quotes | HighlightsPhoto Gallery | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period

4:30 COL (1-0) - PPG, Mikko Rantanen scored his second power-play goal of the season after he skated through the slot while Gabriel Landeskog screened the Minnesota netminder.
5:57 COL (2-0) - Bellemare tallied his first goal in an Avalanche sweater when he jammed home his own rebound after his initial wraparound attempt was denied.  
10:17 MIN (2-1) - Ryan Suter fired a shot from the blue line that was redirected off a defender's stick.

2nd Period

8:31 MIN (2-2) - PPG, Matt Dumba tied the game with a wrist shot from the left circle while on the power play.
18:54 COL (3-2) - Mikko Rantanen finds Gabriel Landeskog at the side of the net, and he tapped the pass into the net to help the Avs regain the lead.

3rd Period

19:20 COL (4-2) - ENG, Ryan Graves sends the puck the length of the ice for an empty-net tally.

Final: Avalanche - 4 | Wild - 2

3 STARS

  1. Gabriel Landeskog (COL): Scored the game-winning goal
  2. Mikko Rantanen (COL): Had a goal and assist
  3. Philipp Grubauer (COL): Made 29 saves

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Rhet Behler (Hyland Hills Hockey Association)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 1 for 6
Minnesota: 1 for 4

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves, including stopping all 12 shots he faced in the third period.
Minnesota: Devan Dubnyk stopped 28 of the 31 shots he saw.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Rookie On The Rise: Cale Makar is the first Colorado rookie defenseman since Stefan Elliott to record a point in each of his first two NHL games. Elliott did it in three straight from Nov. 26-30, 2011 (two goals, one assist).

NOTEBOOK

Gabriel Landeskog tied Matt Duchene for seventh place in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history with his 178th goal in the second period… Nathan MacKinnon had two assists to tie Duchene (250) for 10th place in franchise history… Forward Matt Calvert skated in his 500th NHL contest… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tallied his first goal in as a member of the Avalanche… Valeri Nichushkin tallied his first point with the Avs… Ryan Graves finished with a career-high plus-3 rating… Going back to last season, Colorado is 9-2-2 in its last 13 games against Central Division opponents, including a 4-1-0 mark at home… The Avs have won eight straight regular-season games at Pepsi Center going back to the 2018-19 campaign.

QUOTABLE

Gabriel Landeskog on Mikko Rantanen's pass that set up his goal: "I mean I'm not surprised when I get those on my tape from Mikko anymore, he's been serving those for years. I was glad I was able to put it in."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: MIN@COL: Grubauer robs Donato with the glove

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Matt Calvert in his 500th career NHL game. 

ROSTER REPORT

Colorado used the same personnel as it did in the season opener on Thursday, but Joonas Donskoi began the game on the second line with Tyson Jost and Nazem Kadri while Andre Burakovsky was on a combination with J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto… Philipp Grubauer started in goal for the Avalanche for the second-straight outing.

INJURY UPDATE

Defenseman Ian Cole is progressing after having offseason surgery on both of his hips. He has been skating with the team in a non-contact jersey at practice.

UP NEXT

Colorado has four days before its next game on Thursday when it hosts the Boston Bruins. The Avalanche conclude its season-opening, four-game homestand next Saturday, Oct. 12 against the Arizona Coyotes.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game
Forwards

92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
17 Tyson Jost - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
83 Matt Nieto - 37 J.T. Compher - 95 Andre Burakovsky
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 41 Pierre Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert

Defensemen

49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 20 Conor Timmins

Goaltenders

31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

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