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Colorado Hosts Minnesota In Preseason Action

Colorado concludes preseason play at home

by Dan Vatch / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The Colorado Avalanche hosts the Minnesota Wild for its penultimate preseason contest on Friday at 7 p.m. MT at Pepsi Center.

It is the second matchup between the clubs during exhibition play this campaign, with the first coming this past Saturday at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota utilized a veteran lineup and was dominant, shutting out Colorado 7-0 in the outing with five different Wild players netting goals.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer got his first start as a member of the Colorado Avalanche in that clash and made 26 saves.

The Avs registered their first win of the preseason with a 5-3 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday and then fell 3-1 to the Central-Division rival Dallas Stars on Wednesday.

Ty Lewis potted his first goal of the exhibition slate against the Stars with assists from Vladislav Kamenev and Martin Kaut. Kamenev led the team with four shots on goal and defenseman Nikita Zadorov shared the team lead with four hits.

"We're playing to win you know, we don't want to lose. It's kind of tough when it doesn't go your way but, you know, it's preseason," said Zadorov. "We're going to come [on Thursday] to the rink--we're going to watch video, do work on the mistakes and hopefully we'll be better next game."

Semyon Varlamov made 24-of-27 saves in the loss to Dallas in his first full game of the preseason.

After practice on Thursday, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar announced that Grubauer would start against the Wild on Friday and Varlamov will get the nod in the club's final preseason tune-up in Dallas on Sunday.

The Wild are coming off a 4-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday, behind goals from Eric Staal, Greg Pateryn, Jason Zucker and Jared Spurgeon. Veteran goaltender Devan Dubnyk played the entire game in net for Minnesota, making saves on 27 of 30 shots.

Colorado will look to finish its exhibition slate strong against its Central-Division rival. The Avs are 1-3-0 so far in the preseason while the Wild are 2-4-0.

Friday's game could be a possible preview of the 2018-19 regular-season opener for the clubs, as they will meet again to officially begin the new campaign on Oct. 4 at Pepsi Center.

The Friday night matchup will be broadcast on Altitude TV and can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 FM and online at ColoradoAvalanche.com. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. MT.

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