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game recap

Wild top Avalanche for fifth straight win

Granlund extends point streak to seven for Minnesota

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild extended their winning streak to five with a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Mikael Granlund and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for Minnesota (6-2-2), which has outscored opponents 17-9 the past five games. Granlund extended his point streak to seven games. He has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the streak.

"This was a big one for us," Dubnyk said. "They've taken it to us over the last year and a half and the first game of the season [4-1 loss]. Being a [Central] division team, we needed this one. To get it in regulation was big.

"I said this morning and continued tonight, I feel like our game's gotten better each game. We've put together more and more good minutes of hockey each night. That was the same tonight. We've just got to continue to do that on the road."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Wild highlights]

 

The Wild, who began the season 1-2-2, are 5-0-2 at home. Minnesota begins a season-long, seven-game trip on Monday.

Mark Barberio and Gabriel Landeskog scored, and Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves for Colorado (7-3-2). 

Video: COL@MIN: Granlund sets up Staal's go-ahead PPG

"That's probably the best line in the world right now," Granlund said of Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. "They played really good. They were having a couple chances but just tried to play hard and it was a tough challenge. But those were a huge two points for us."

Staal gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead on the power play, one-timing a pass from Granlund at 10:16 of the third period. Defenseman Jonas Brodin scored shorthanded into an empty net at 17:17 for a 3-1 advantage.

With Varlamov pulled for an extra attacker, Landeskog scored with 42 seconds remaining to pull the Avalanche within 3-2.

Barberio scored his first of the season with a snap shot through traffic at 5:54 of the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.

"Honestly, we only care about the two points," Barberio said. "I'm not a goal scorer so if they come, great, but at the end of the day this is a rival team in the same division. We had a chance to separate ourselves from them and now they're closer to us in the standings, so that's all that matters."

Granlund picked up a rebound from a shot by Nino Niederreiter to make it 1-1 at 7:15 of the second period.

I think [this win] is critical," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's one of those rare nights where we actually pick up ground on teams."

Video: COL@MIN: Granlund roofs rebound from sharp angle

 

They said it

"It's a close, hard-fought game but a tough loss for us because I felt like our guys deserved a little bit better. … Special teams ended up being the difference. … I've got to give our guys credit. Loved our effort, great first period. Five-on-five I thought we were really good. To me it's tough scheduling for us coming in here. They're rested, we're coming in after a hard-fought emotional game last night [6-3 win against the Ottawa Senators] that we had to scratch and claw to get back on top and win. Our guys, I thought they came out with pretty good energy, pretty good detail to our game." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

Video: COL@MIN: Landeskog knocks home rebound in 3rd

 

"I don't have a reason unless they think it's a 7:30 game time. Obviously we want to be able to start quicker. It's not like we're giving up a lot of goals in the first period. We just aren't getting a lot of opportunities right now. The main thing is if we get them later on, and we need them. I think our third periods have been outstanding. I think that's our fifth game or the fourth game at least that we've gone into the third period tied and came away victorious. That's important." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on team's slow start in games

 

Need to know

Colorado was without forward Tyson Jost, who sustained a head injury on Friday. … Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole blocked eight shots (team total 15). … Colorado was 0-for-6 on the power play, the Wild 1-for-5. … Minnesota forward Joel Eriksson Ek returned after missing six games because of a lower-body injury. He had two shots in 10:27. … Wild forward Jason Zucker had an assist and has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past eight games.

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Calgary Flames on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SN1, ALT, NHL.TV)

Wild: At the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SN, FS-N+, NHL.TV)

Video: Granlund, Staal lead Wild to 3-2 win against Avs

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