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Avs Fall To Wild, Split Home-and-Home Series

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Todd White and Marian Gaborik scored 26 seconds apart and the Minnesota Wild netted three goals in the final 5:12 to rally for a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Ex-Wild forward Antti Laaksonen had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who beat Minnesota 4-3 on Thursday in Denver.

With the game tied 2-2 late, White, Gaborik and Marc Chouinard scored for Minnesota. Marek Svatos got his team-leading 19th goal for the Avalanche.

Colorado needed 26 seconds and one shot to take the game's first lead. Andrew Brunette scored against his former team for the second time in as many nights as he fought off defender Alex Henry and got off a backhand shot that beat goaltender Manny Fernandez low. Minnesota didn't record its first shot until more than seven minutes elapsed, yet the Wild nearly tied it near the midway point of the opening period when Kurtis Foster's drive from the high slot hit the left post.

The Wild took control in the second period, outshooting the Avalanche 9-4 and scoring twice to take the lead. Pascal Dupuis' fourth of the season tied it after a scramble in front of goalie Peter Budaj. He turned aside two shots by White and another by Andrei Zyuzin before Dupuis' low shot from 20 feet out got through a crowd at the top of the crease. After Colorado coach Joel Quenneville called a timeout, Brent Burns put Minnesota up 2-1. Budaj got a piece of Burns' shot from the top of the left circle, only to see the puck deflect up and in.

Minnesota threatened to add to its lead late in the second when a pair of Avalanche penalties gave the Wild a 5-on-3 power play for 85 seconds. Colorado's defense, which blocked 10 shots in the period, held the Wild to just one man-advantage shot and killed both penalties.

Laaksonen tied it midway through the third, tapping in the puck after a long lead pass from Pierre Turgeon. But Fernandez made 11 of his 20 saves in the final period for the win.

Budaj, making back-to-back starts for the first time in a month, had 19 saves in the loss.

Notes: Minnesota, which boasts the NHL's top penalty-killing unit, went unscored upon in three chances. The Wild have killed 26 consecutive penalties, dating to a power-play goal by the New York Islanders on Dec. 13. ... Avalanche D Kurt Sauer, a Minnesota native, joined the team on Friday after a rehab stint with Lowell of the AHL. He wasn't in the lineup. ... After recording one goal and three assists in his previous 21 games, Minnesota D Daniel Tjarnqvist was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.

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