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game recap

Wild score eight to end Avalanche point streak at 15, gain split

Fiala has hat trick, assist for Minnesota, which gets four on power play

by Jessi Pierce / Independent Correspondent

Fiala's first career NHL hatty

COL@MIN: Fiala boosts Wild with first NHL hat trick

Kevin Fiala tallied in the 1st then scored a pair of goals in the 3rd, leading the Wild's offensive onslaught with his first NHL hat trick

  • 01:55 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kevin Fiala scored his first NHL hat trick and had an assist, and the Minnesota Wild ended the Colorado Avalanche's 15-game point streak with an 8-3 win at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday.

The Avalanche had not lost a game in regulation since March 8, 3-2 to the Arizona Coyotes. They were 13-0-2 during their streak, which was the longest in the NHL this season and one shy of the longest in Colorado/Quebec Nordiques history (12-0-4 in 2000-01).

"We let it slip away," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "We got worse as the game went on. … Again, I'm really proud of the way our team has played and the way we responded at different points of the year, and we've been able to sustain a high level of play and tonight was uncharacteristic of our group. It was disappointing, but at some point [the point streak] had to come to an end. 

"I don't like losing, No. 1, and I don't like the way that we lost tonight. We have to sort of take a look in the mirror from myself all the way through. It just wasn't good enough and we have to come out and learn from that and not make that mistake again." 

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Kevin Fiala

Kirill Kaprizov had two goals and an assist, and Cam Talbot made 29 saves for Minnesota (24-12-2) which has won three of four. The Wild went 4-for-5 on the power play to gain a split of the two-game set after the Avalanche won 5-4 on Monday.

"The score is one thing, but how we played was another," Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. "We were engaged right from the start, every guy. We were physical. We were on our toes. We played aggressively, maybe a little bit too aggressively at the start, taking those penalties, because their power play scares the heck out of us."

Nathan MacKinnon scored for the fourth straight game, and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist for Colorado (26-9-4), which had won five straight.

Philipp Grubauer was pulled 7:18 into the third period after allowing seven goals on 18 shots one game after setting an Avalanche/Nordiques record with a personal 13-game point streak (12-0-1). Jonas Johansson did not make a save in 12:42.

"You don't want to blow it out of proportion, but you're not just going to let it go either," Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog said. "I think every single guy in that locker room hates losing. Some of us hate losing more than we like winning. That's just the way it is. It doesn't matter how many games you win in a row or where you're at in the standings, it's still a loss.

"But good teams learn from that and good teams move on from these type of games and these losses, and that's what we're going to do." 

Video: COL@MIN: Rask sets up Kaprizov's power-play goal

Victor Rask fed Kaprizov cutting backdoor for a tap-in on the power play at 4:00 of the first period to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.

Kyle Rau passed to Luke Johnson up the middle to make it 2-0 at 13:15. It was Johnson's first NHL goal in his 30th NHL game.

Fiala made it 3-0 on the power play with a wrist shot from the point at 18:38.

MacKinnon cut it to 3-1 with a power-play goal 34 seconds into the second period on a wrist shot through traffic.

Ryan Hartman intercepted a clearing attempt and made it 4-1 at 4:37 before Andre Burakovsky brought the Avalanche within 4-2 at 5:17.

"We knew we wanted to leave off on a note to show that we can play against any team," Hartman said. "We played tonight how we have to play against a team like that." 

Rantanen scored a power-play goal at 9:42 after the puck deflected off Talbot's stick to make it 4-3.

Video: COL@MIN: Fiala forces turnover and scores second goal

Kaprizov scored his second power-play goal, finishing a pass from Fiala at 13:38 to increase the lead to 5-3.

Fiala scored his second with a shot to the top right corner to make it 6-3 at 4:24 of the third period, and Joel Eriksson Ek increased the lead to 7-3 with a shot in front at 7:18.

Fiala completed the hat trick with another power-play goal at 7:56 for the 8-3 final. He has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in a seven-game point streak.

"It was a huge game for us," Fiala said. "We really came at this game and we wanted to just win the game, you know, and yeah, maybe [make a] statement and show them we can play against you guys if we're going to meet them in the playoffs."

NOTES: MacKinnon has five goals in a four-game goal streak and 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in a seven-game point streak. … Colorado defenseman Kyle Burroughs, who made his NHL debut Monday, had an assist for his first NHL point. … Wild forward Zach Parise had an assist and was plus-2 in 10:56 after missing seven games in NHL COVID-19 protocol. … Minnesota forward Mats Zuccarello had one shot and one hit in 13:47 after missing two games with a lower-body injury. … Rask had three assists. … Kaprizov has nine points (six goals, three assists) in his past eight games. He set a Wild rookie record with his eight multipoint game this season (Kurtis Foster, seven, 2005-06). … Jared Spurgeon had three assists, all on the power play, to become the second defenseman in Wild history with 100 power-play points (Ryan Suter, 136). … Colorado won the season series 5-2-1.

Video: Fiala's hatty fuels Wild's 8-3 victory against Avs

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