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game recap

Coyle's two third-period goals help Wild top Avalanche

Win moves Minnesota into second wild-card spot in West

by Dan Myers / NHL.com Correspondent

Coyle's one-timer puts Wild ahead

COL@MIN: Parise feeds Coyle for go-ahead goal in 3rd

3/1/16: Charlie Coyle skates down the right wing and one-times Zach Parise's perfect pass into the net, giving the Wild a 4-3 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:51 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Charlie Coyle's job, admittedly, has been pretty easy lately.

Coyle scored two goals in the third period, including the game-winner with 14:26 remaining, sparking the Minnesota Wild to a 6-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Much of the dirty work on Coyle's winner was done by linemate Zach Parise, who intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, flew around Avalanche forward Jack Skille at the blue line and made a beeline for the net. At the last instant, Parise flipped a pass across the crease to a crashing Coyle at the right post for a tap-in that gave the Wild a 4-3 lead.

The goal came from nearly the exact same location as the one he scored against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, which also followed some hard work and a nice pass by Parise.

Video: COL@MIN: Coyle nets second goal into empty net

"I was just trying to get open and enough can't be said about [Parise] and Mikko [Koivu] and just me being at the end of it," Coyle said. "I mean, I get the goal. But those guys do the work, they make the plays. [Scoring], that's the easy part."

Coyle added an empty-netter with 1:27 remaining and leads the Wild with 21 goals.

Nino Niederreiter also scored twice, once into an empty net, and Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists for Minnesota (29-25-10), which moved past Colorado (32-29-4) into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Each team has 68 points and 29 regulation/overtime wins, but the Wild have a game in hand.

Minnesota has won three of four games against the Avalanche this season; the teams play for the fifth and final time at Pepsi Center on March 26.

Video: COL@MIN: Niederreiter beats Varlamov, ties game at 1

"I'm happy for the guys. They've worked their butts off for it," Wild interim coach John Torchetti said. "We got a long way to go still. We can't be scoreboard-watching; we have to just be detailed and refining our game, and keep working hard, and competing. Our battle level is pretty good, but we want it great."

Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk finished with 30 saves.

Niederreiter was called for tripping behind the Colorado net 12 seconds after the opening faceoff, and the Avalanche took advantage 21 seconds later when Iginla's one-timer from the left circle went past Dubnyk for his 19th goal.

Mikkel Boedker, making his debut with Colorado after being acquired in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, had the second assist.

Video: COL@MIN: Pominville's breakaway goal puts Wild on top

"It's always good when you can take the lead, and the power play got off to a good start," Boedker said.

But the lead didn't last long.

Niederreiter capped a 2-on-1 break with Pominville by beating Semyon Varlamov with a blocker-side wrist shot for his 13th goal at 10:37.

Pominville put Minnesota ahead 61 seconds later when he took an outlet pass from Niederreiter and beat Varlamov on a breakaway. It was Pominville's 11th goal of the season and fifth in eight games; he has four multiple-point games during that stretch.

Video: COL@MIN: Pickard stops Pominville, Grandlund in 2nd

That line scored again at 17:48 when defenseman Matt Dumba sprung Erik Haula for another breakaway. Haula slipped the puck through Varlamov's five-hole for his ninth goal and a 3-1 lead.

"It's not like they made a play where you tip your hat and say 'Good job,'" Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said. "They were nice plays they made, but it's the NHL and you give up breakaways, you give up 2-on-1s, you give up 3-on-2s, guys of this caliber are going to make plays."

Tasked with going against the Colorado's top line of Boedker, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, the Niederreiter-Haula-Pominville line accounted for five points and was a combined plus-9 in the first period. Varlamov made nine saves on 12 shots before being replaced by Calvin Pickard to start the second.

"We talked before the game that winning that matchup's going to be huge and trying to keep them off the board and checking them all and eventually we'll get chances," Haula said. "I guess [there is] no better way to start it than getting three on them and getting them real frustrated right away."

Video: COL@MIN: Iginla's one-timer on PP puts Avs ahead

Colorado tied the game with two goals in the second period.

Defenseman Chris Bigras scored on a one-timer at the backdoor at 3:25 for his first NHL goal to make it 3-2. Cody McLeod tied it at 12:33 when he hammered away at the rebound of Skille's shot and got it past Dubnyk for his eighth goal.

"I thought we had a strong second period, probably one of our [best] periods of the season," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "Unfortunately we came back ... and had a turnover on their fourth [goal] and it hurt us."

Pickard finished with 15 saves on 16 shots.

Video: Pominville, Niederreiter pace Wild in 6-3 win

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