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Rapid Recap: Wild 6, Avalanche 4

Minnesota scores three in third period to defeat Colorado

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Victor Rask scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Colorado Avalanche fell 6-4 to the Minnesota Wild on Friday at Pepsi Center.

Rask's marker came 1:17 after Mats Zuccarello tied the game at 4-4 for the Wild. Matt Calvert had given Colorado its first lead of the night earlier in the period after he recorded his second marker of the contest at 1:33 of the stanza.

Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon also scored for the Avalanche, and defenseman Cale Makar had an assist in his first game back since missing eight straight with an upper-body injury. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare had two helpers.

Carson Soucy had two goals and Eric Staal and Brad Hunt each added a tally as well for Minnesota.

The Avs were playing the first half of a back-to-back set that concludes on Saturday at the Dallas Stars.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Notes & Quotes | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
5:33 MIN (0-1) - Carson Soucy's shot from the right circle found twine on the far side.
9:22 MIN (0-2) - Eric Staal cleaned up the puck in the crease after Kevin Fiala's shot snuck through goalie Pavel Francouz.
18:24 COL (1-2) - Matt Calvert redirected Ian Cole's slap shot at the front of the net.
19:10 COL (2-2) - Gabriel Landeskog took the puck into the offensive zone, split two defenders and then tallied on a backhand shot while streaking past the net.

2nd Period
11:18 MIN (2-3) - PPG, Brad Hunt scored on a slap shot.
19:12 COL (3-3) - Cale Makar's centering pass went off Nathan MacKinnon's skate and past goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

3rd Period
1:33 COL (4-3) - Matt Calvert redirected Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's shot from the high slot for his second tally of the night.
10:41 MIN (4-4) - After Pavel Francouz made a save, Minnesota's Mats Zuccarello kicked the rebound onto his stick and then tallied on a quick wrister.
11:58 MIN (5-4) - Victor Rask fired a wrister far side to give the Wild the lead.
18:48 MIN (6-4) - ENG, Carson Soucy tallied on a long shot from the neutral zone after the Wild won a faceoff.

Final: Wild - 6 | Avalanche - 4

3 STARS

  1. Victor Rask (MIN): Scored game-winning goal
  2. Matt Calvert (COL): Had two goals
  3. Gabriel Landeskog (COL): Scored, had seven shots and five hits

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Jeremy Lepore (Vail Recreation District)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 2
Minnesota: 1 for 2

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Pavel Francouz started the first half of the back-to-back and made 27 saves
Minnesota: Devan Dubnyk stopped a season-high 40 shots

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Nathan MacKinnon's goal was his 458th career point, moving him into a tie with Paul Stastny for fifth place in Avalanche history in scoring (since 1995-96). MacKinnon and Stastny are tied for ninth in franchise history in points.

NOTEBOOK

Cale Makar registered an assist to give him 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) this season. He is the fifth defenseman in NHL history to produce 29 or more points through his first 30 career regular-season games. He joined Harry Cameron (23g/15a), Larry Murphy (5g/27a), Mark Howe (12g/17a) and Brian Leetch (7g/22a)… Ian Cole extended his assist and point streak to three games (three assists), tied for a season long. He has five points in his last five games (one goal, four assists)… Valeri Nichushkin had an assist to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, three assists)… Matt Calvert recorded his third multi-goal game of the season... Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (two assists) has recorded multiple points in each of his last two contests... The Avalanche won its challenge for offside at 8:37 of the second period after Minnesota's Joel Eriksson Ek scored. Colorado improved to 4-2 in coach's challenges this season… The Avalanche and Wild were playing in the third of five matchups this year and the last one in Denver. Colorado is now 1-2-0 against Minnesota this campaign... The Avs were playing their seventh of 12 back-to-back sets this season. The team is now 5-2-0 in the first contest of consecutive-night series… Joonas Donskoi's eight shots set a new career high for a game, surpassing his previous best of six (three times previously, last: Nov. 7 vs. Nashville).

QUOTABLE

Gabriel Landeskog on the game: "The first 10 minutes of the game were probably as bad as any this year. We just kept turning pucks over. Obviously we get out of the first with a tied hockey game, and I think really in the second we started taking over. We weren't getting rewarded for our chances, but we kept going. We eventually had a one-goal lead with 10 minutes to go in the game. Again, it's a couple of defensive breakdowns on both of those goals to give them the lead in a span of a couple minutes."

BIG HIGHLIGHT 

Video: MIN@COL: Landeskog splits defenders, nets beauty

IMAGE OF THE GAME

Did you just see that!?

ROSTER REPORT 

Cale Makar returned to the lineup after being out for eight games with an upper-body injury. He started the contest paired on defense with Samuel Girard… Goaltender Pavel Francouz made his second consecutive start and sixth in the last nine games…Mark Barberio and Vladislav Kamenev were the healthy scratches… The Avs reassigned defenseman Anton Lindholm to the AHL Colorado Eagles. 

INJURY UPDATE

Colin Wilson (lower body) is out long term after having surgery.

UP NEXT

Colorado completes its seventh back-to-back of the season on Saturday when it travels to Texas to face the Dallas Stars at 5 p.m. MT.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on the start of the game

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

Defensemen
49 Samuel Girard - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole

Goaltenders
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer

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