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Colorado Continues Preseason Action At Minnesota

It is the Avalanche's second exhibition game

by Miranda Einhorn / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche continues its preseason action against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center at 4 p.m. MT on Saturday.

It is the second game of Colorado's exhibition slate and the first of two preseason matchups with its Central Division rival. The Avs and Wild will battle again at Pepsi Center on Sept. 28.

The Avalanche dropped its first preseason game 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. Defenseman Ryan Graves scored the Avs' goal with a slap shot off a faceoff and he racked up 19:33 of ice time to accompany the tally.

Goaltenders Semyon Varlamov and Spencer Martin split time in net. In the first two stanzas, Varlamov stopped 21 of 24 pucks while Martin entered in the third period to make four saves on six shots.

"This game, for me, it's not really about our veteran guys, especially those core guys that played tonight," Avs head coach Jared Bednar said after the exhibition. "it's about trying to get them in a couple game situations and get them a few reps here before we take a real close look at a lot of other guys."

After practice on Friday, Bednar said goaltender Philipp Grubauer will be between the pipes with Pavel Francouz serving as backup. He also noted the contest will feature a different roster than the first exhibition game as the team's other practice unit will play in the game.

"I expect more out of our group tomorrow now, a couple extra practices." Bednar added. "If you look at the lineup that we're playing and the guys that we have left here, they're all pros. They are either going to be here or up the road in Loveland.

"Most of these guys have been through a couple camps with us. The first group we had our (Nathan) MacKinnon line playing, and then we had a lot of kids playing as well, guys that are new to the organization. I expect this group to tighten things up a little bit going into Minny tomorrow night."

Saturday's matchup will be the fourth exhibition outing for Minnesota. The Wild is 0-3-0 after preseason games against the Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. The team last played the Stars on Thursday and outshot Dallas 27-23. Forward Zach Parise scored the Wild's lone tally and goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped 20-of-22 shots.

The contest begins at 4 p.m. MT and will be televised on NHL Network and can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio FM 92.5.

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