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Wolski, Brunette Score in Loss to Wild

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
John-Michael Liles

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Pavol Demitra deposited the rebound of a Kurtis Foster attempt from the point with 6:19 remaining in the second period to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night at Pepsi Center.

Andrew Brunette and Wojtek Wolski recorded a goal apiece for the Avalanche, while Jose Theodore made 34 saves.

“It was a tough one. Unfortunately we got ourselves behind the 8-ball there right off the bat,” said defenseman John-Michael Liles. “Against a team like Minnesota, it’s tough to come back on. We battled back but didn’t put ourselves in the position we wanted early on.”

Todd Fedoruk opened the scoring at 5:25 of the first period when he tipped a pass from Demitra past Theodore, while Brian Rolston gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead on a power-play goal from the slot at 13:27.

Brunette proceeded to cut Minnesota’s lead in half before the end of the period with his 10th goal of the season. Brunette grabbed a loose puck near the slot area, then turned and fired a shot toward the goal. Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom got a piece of the shot with his stick, but when reaching back to try to prevent the puck from trickling over the goal line, inadvertently knocked it in at 19:32.

The Avs evened the game 2:24 into the second period when Wolski buried a feed from Marek Svatos. Tyler Arnason started the play by winning a faceoff in Minnesota’s zone and gaining control of the puck before handing it off to Svatos, who sent a pass across the crease to Wolski.

Both Theodore (10 saves) and Backstrom (11) kept the opposition off the scoreboard in the third period.

Milestone for Parker
Avalanche forward Scott Parker skated in his 300th career NHL game tonight against the Wild. During his eight-year career, Parker has totaled seven goals and 14 assists to go along with 692 penalty minutes. Colorado is 10-5-2 with Parker in the lineup this year and 18-6-3 since he was acquired from San Jose on Feb. 27, 2007.

Breaking Out in a Big Way…
Brunette’s first-period goal was the forward’s fourth tally in the last six games following an eight-game scoreless streak. Brunette has now averaged a point-per-game over Colorado’s last seven contests (4g/3a).

…and Putting on the “Breaks”
Tonight was the final game for the Avalanche before the All-Star Break, as the league will take a four-day hiatus beginning tomorrow before resuming play on Tuesday. The Avalanche actually has a five-day break before returning to action on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks to wrap up its five-game homestand.
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