DENVER (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild won their first regular-season road game in
Colorado and forward Pascal Dupuis responded with a deep sigh of relief.
"Finally a win here," Dupuis said. "But you have to remember that's a
pretty good team over there."
Dupuis and Filip Kuba scored to lift Minnesota to a 3-2 victory over
Colorado on Wednesday night.
Sergei Zholtok added his 100th NHL goal, and Dwayne Roloson had 37 saves for
the Wild, who won their third straight and have lost only twice (5-2-2) in nine
The Avalanche were 7-0-2 at home against the Wild in the regular season and
had outscored them 31-18.
"I think all the boys feel really good," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire
said. "When you work hard and you win, there isn't one guy in the room that
doesn't feel good. It's all about effort and wins."
Minnesota rallied from a 3-1 series deficit against Colorado in the first
round of last season's playoffs and eliminated the Avalanche by winning the
final two games in overtime. Game 7 was a 3-2 victory in Denver.
Joe Sakic had a pair of goals, and Milan Hejduk and Steve Konowalchuk had
two assists each for the Avalanche on Wednesday. Colorado had its unbeaten
streak ended at eight (4-0-4).
"I think we were very flat and you can't play like that, no matter who you
are playing," Colorado coach Tony Granato said. "No matter when it is in the
season, you can't come out and get caught flat like that."
Minnesota led 2-0 after the first period on goals by Dupuis and Kuba. Dupuis
sent a shot from the slot over David Aebischer's left shoulder at 4:31 after
Jason Wiemer fed him the puck from along the short boards.
"That was huge for us," Dupuis said. "Right now we aren't scoring many
goals, and then to get the first goal was a big plus."
With Peter Worrell serving a penalty, Kuba scored over a sprawled Aebischer
from the left circle at 13:34.
"Sometimes it's the third and sometimes it's the first," Aebischer said
about Colorado's first period. "Tonight it was the first. We have to try to
play 60 minutes, then we should be OK."
The Avalanche got back in it on Sakic's 10th goal at 7:34, scored on a
backhander from the slot. Zholtok restored Minnesota's two-goal lead at 13:33
with a shot from in front of the crease after Colorado defenseman Karlis
Skrastins fanned at a clearing attempt.
Sakic's second goal of the game came on a return pass from Konowalchuk at
16:53 while Colorado was on the power play.
Roloson's best save came at 3:26 of the third period when he made a
last-second lunge to deny Andrei Nikolishin after Roloson stopped Sakic's wrist
shot from the slot.
Minnesota took a 3-2 lead into the third period, which was scoreless.