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Dubnyk injured, Kuemper wins for Wild vs. Avalanche

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild overcame the loss of their goaltender and the exemplary play of the opposing one in a 3-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper combined for a 20-save shutout for the Wild, who have held their past two opponents without a goal. Minnesota will carry a shutout streak of 154:39 into a rematch with Colorado at Pepsi Center on Monday.

But the Wild (14-7-4) may be without Dubnyk, who is tied for second in the NHL with 13 victories after he sustained a lower-body injury midway through the second period and did not return.

Matt Dumba, Justin Fontaine and Jason Pominville has goals for the Wild, who have won three-straight.

Dubnyk left with 9:05 left in the second after making the first 11 saves. Shortly thereafter, Dumba provided the Wild with all the offense they would need. Kuemper denied the final nine shots for his first win.

Wild coach Mike Yeo said after the game that Dubnyk will be examined Sunday and that he doesn't expect the injury to be serious.

"It caught me off-guard. Anytime you get thrown in there, you're just trying to get into it as soon as you can," Kuemper said. "The guys did a really good job of letting me work into the game. They didn't give up much."

Semyon Varlamov made a season-high 41 saves for Colorado (11-15-1), which finished a four-game road trip 2-2-0.

"He was phenomenal and we didn't play a good game in front of him," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "That's the positive for us in the way he played."

Less than three minutes after Dubnyk left the game, Dumba's slap shot from the point slipped past Varlamov for his fourth goal and second in as many games at 13:27.

"I was pretty impressed with how we handled that," Yeo said. "You can read guys' body language and you can tell by the things they're saying. Certainly, [there was] a lot of positivity, and I think it reflected in the play."

Minnesota scored twice in the third period. Seconds after being robbed by Varlamov alone in front, Fontaine tipped a Marco Scandella shot from the point for his second goal at 2:28.

Colorado pulled Varlamov with 2:10 remaining and Pominville scored into an empty net with 1:02 left. Pominville has scored in three of the past four games after starting the season with zero goals in his first 21 games.

"We needed that one because we know the next one is going to be a tough one," Yeo said. "There are certain nights when your team is just going a certain way, and when you're standing behind the bench, and them on the bench, I know it gives a pretty good sense of confidence."

Minnesota outshot Colorado 44-20 and including a 17-6 margin in the first period, the score was tied 0-0 after 20 minutes.

"I thought we were in good shape. I've seen that many, many times when I was a player," Roy said. "If you were even, it was a good chance to regroup. But tonight, they were the better team; they were first on the puck, they were competing better than us. They won those 1-on-1 battles.

"They played a really good game and I'd rather give them credit. We didn't play well, but they played a strong game."

Eight different players had a point for the Wild, including Scandella, who was strong in each end of the rink. More than half of Scandella's ice time (22:19) was spent defending Colorado's top line of Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

Scandella missed time recently because of a lower-body injury, followed by the loss of his father, Francesco, who died of cancer on Wednesday.

"I'm really happy for him. It's been a tough go," Yeo said. "We feel really bad for him and obviously the ice time that he's missed and the time he's been away, that's tough."

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