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game recap

Avalanche score three in third to defeat Wild

Nathan MacKinnon gets game-winner to cap 5:29 burst; Calvin Pickard makes 41 saves

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Colorado Avalanche scored three third-period goals in a 5:29 span and defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

"We felt that even in the first and second [periods] we were giving up too many shots," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We just wanted to stay with it. We kind of felt we had a little bit of traction there. ... That maybe gave us a little confidence coming into it that if we really got after them we might have a chance."

Nathan MacKinnon scored the game-winning goal at 9:20, and Calvin Pickard made 41 saves for Colorado (8-9-0). MacKinnon has scored in two consecutive games.

"When I went 10 straight without a goal (from Oct. 17 to Nov. 8) I felt like, 'You don't deserve goals,'" MacKinnon said. "But you feel like you're around the net and it should start going in. It was tough there for a while and it's nice to finally see a couple go in, for sure."

Mikko Rantanen made it 2-1 with a one-timer at 3:51, and Carl Soderberg scored on the power play at 6:48 to tie it 2-2.


WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Wild highlights


Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves for the Wild (9-7-1). He had gone more than seven periods and 156:06 without allowing a goal.

"We stopped playing," Dubnyk said. "I don't know what happened. That's not like us. Things are going to happen, and they might get one or two, but we just stopped playing in our end. I don't know if we thought it was going to be an easy third with the way the game was going, but we had a pretty good game going and that's a waste of a game. That's not good enough."

Charlie Coyle scored 39 seconds into a power play at 8:32 of the first period to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead. Tyler Graovac scored at 6:34 of the second period to make it 2-0.

Video: COL@MIN: Coyle redirects Spurgeon's wrister for PPG

Minnesota had 43 shots on goal, 21 in the first period. Colorado had 34, 20 in the first.

Minnesota played without Zach Parise, who was scratched because of illness. Parise played in two games after missing the prior six with a foot injury.

Colorado did not have forwards Matt Duchene (concussion) and Gabriel Landeskog (lower body).


Goal of the game

MacKinnon split the Minnesota defense and shot low stick-side for the go-ahead goal.

Video: COL@MIN: MacKinnon skates past Wild's defense, scores


Save of the game

Pickard robbed Wild defenseman Matt Dumba on a wide-open shot at 11:26 of the second period with Minnesota on a power play.


Unsung moment of the game

At 17:56 of the second period, Wild forward Nino Niederreiter stopped a Blake Comeau shot from crossing the line, keeping the score 1-0. The play started when Tyson Barrie hit the post and Comeau picked up the rebound in front.


Highlight of the game

Graovac skated into the Avalanche zone and tried to pass far side to Zack Mitchell but was stopped by Barrie. Graovac spun, cut toward the front of the net and shot past Pickard as he fell to the ice. He has scored two goals this season, each on his back.

"If I score another one like that I'm not going to complain," Graovac said. "I saw the replay and I was like 'Oh, I'm on my back again celebrating.' I don't think we're going to make that a habit, but I'll take it if I can."

Video: COL@MIN: Graovac spins, scores while falling down


They said it

"A two-goal lead's the worst lead in hockey. When you get one, they start to tighten up. Carl made a great play on the power play to score again. We're feeling good about this win and we definitely needed this one, for sure." -- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon


"We were playing so well, so tight defensively. Usually the way we've been playing we get up two goals and that's our game. That is how we have to win right now until we can start putting the puck into the back of the net. To crack there was pretty disappointing for us. We have a big game on Monday (at the Dallas Stars) that we have to prepare for." -- Wild defenseman Ryan Suter


Need to know

Duchene is nearing a return from a concussion sustained on Nov. 11. … Landeskog has missed two games and is being evaluated. Bednar said they will know more Sunday or Monday. … Coyle set an NHL career-high with his third power-play goal.


What's next

Wild: At the Dallas Stars on Monday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, FS-N, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday (7 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-OH, NHL.TV)


Video: Three-goal 3rd propels Avs past Wild, 3-2

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