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game recap

Avalanche hold off Wild, gain in Western wild-card race

Grubauer makes 36 saves for Colorado; Minnesota has lost five of its past six

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

Grubauer's stellar pad save

COL@MIN: Grubauer robs Aberg to preserve lead

Victor Rask centers the puck to Pontus Aberg in the low slot, but Philipp Grubauer reads it perfectly and stops his point-blank bid

  • 00:20 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Colorado Avalanche gained in the Western Conference wild-card race with a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves, and Tyson Barrie and Tyson Jost scored for Colorado (32-29-12), which has won two in a row and is two points behind the Arizona Coyotes for the second Western wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"This one tonight ... it was as close as you can get to a must win this time of year," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I don't know that [Minnesota] needed to win it, but we certainly did to try and get closer and inch closer because the runway is running out."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Wild highlights]

 

Zach Parise scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves for Minnesota (34-31-9), which has lost five of its past six games and remains one point behind the Coyotes.

With the loss by the Wild, the San Jose Sharks clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We can't (get frustrated). If we do that, we might as well throw the season away," Parise said. "We don't have a lot of time to do that and feel bad. Hopefully, we can scoreboard watch and get some help maybe. Let's see if we can correct things offensively before the games on the weekend."

Video: COL@MIN: Parise tips in Suter's shot for PPG

Barrie gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 10:31 of the first period after getting to a loose puck and scoring on a slap shot. He has three goals in his past two games.

Parise tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 1:52 of the second period. It's the fourth straight game the Wild have scored on the power play (5-for-13) after going 0-for-18 in their previous six games.

Colin Wilson appeared to give Colorado a 2-1 lead at 7:49, but Wild coach Bruce Boudreau challenged for goaltender interference, and the goal was overturned after video review.

Jost took a stretch pass from Wilson and scored on a breakaway to make it 2-1 at 13:04.

"I shoot on [Dubnyk] in the summer, so I guess it was a little of a chess match," Jost said. "He's seen some of my moves and I've kind of seen some of his tendencies or whatever, so I was trying to overthink it. I was thinking five-hole, but I said no, I need to go high glove on the backhand there. It felt good to get that one."

Video: COL@MIN: Barrie hammers puck past Dubnyk

Ian Cole scored into an empty net at 18:06 of the third period to extend the lead to 3-1.

"Whatever our guys did to prepare today and to get that type of buy-in from every single guy in the room, that's what we have to do again," Bednar said.

 

They said it

"It feels different. … I love the way we played. We had great intensity, passion, commitment to defend. No passengers. There was so much that I liked about the way we competed and the way that we played. … We've played games like that before at some point this year, but it's been a long time since I've had that feeling about our team and the way we worked. That's the type of consistency in our game from start to finish that we're looking for that you need this time of year to win games. If we can repeat that performance another nine times, then I believe we're going to be great. It's hard to do, though. We've been trying to repeat that performance all year and we've been a little up and down, so we've got to remember the feeling." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"[Our team has] to reset. We've got eight games left. It's not like they're saving themselves for anything. So we may as well have a good day off again tomorrow and have a good practice and then we go in for back-to-back games against tough teams. It's what it is." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

Need to know

It was Jost's first goal since Feb. 25 (10 games). … Cole's goal was his second of the season and first since Nov. 2 (48 games). … Parise has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past three games. … Minnesota finished its five-game homestand 1-3-1.

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Dallas Stars on Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, ALT, NHL.TV)

Wild: At the Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVAS, NBCSWA, FS-N, NHL.TV)

Video: Grubauer's 36 saves help Avalanche hold off Wild

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