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game recap

Calvin Pickard, Avalanche shut out Wild

Goalie makes 32 saves, Gabriel Landeskog scores only goal

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Calvin Pickard made 32 saves for the Colorado Avalanche in a 1-0 win against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Pickard's second NHL shutout helped the Avalanche (5-5-0) end a two-game losing streak; they lost four of their previous five games.

"We had to make this a big game for us against a good rival," said Pickard, who has won all three of his starts this season in place of Semyon Varlamov. "We couldn't let another game slip away from us. So 0-0 going into the third, you could tell we took the next step and really played urgent. It's a big win."


WATCH: All Wild vs. Avalanche highlights


Gabriel Landeskog scored a power-play goal at 10:23 of the third.

He skated down the slot to convert Matt Duchene's pass from the right side of the crease, beating Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk for his first goal in eight games (third of the season). Rookie Mikko Rantanen had the second assist for his first NHL point in 14 games.

"Mikko did a great job on the half wall, settling the play down and backing their penalty killers off a bit," Landeskog said. "He gave it down to [Duchene] and he made an excellent pass to me just kind of getting it over [Wild defenseman Ryan] Suter's stick. I was just trying to get it off quick."

The goal was the first for the Avalanche in 164:48, since Jarome Iginla scored at 5:35 of the first period of a 5-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Colorado lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Thursday.

Video: MIN@COL: Dubnyk turns MacKinnon's one-timer aside

"It's frustrating; we almost went eight periods with no goals," Duchene said. "We just want to keep plugging away and the offense will come. We have too much talent for it not to. We want to score more, obviously."

Minnesota forward Charlie Coyle scored with 48.9 seconds left, but the goal was immediately waved off because Wild forward Eric Staal pushed Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson into Pickard. The call was confirmed after video replay.

"It's a tough call," said Staal, who didn't agree with the ruling. "It's one of those where the goalie was out of position, he was way out in the white of the ice. I was just in front battling with [Johnson], not paying attention to where he was. One of the situations where he was pulling me into the battle, pulling me with him on top of the goalie and I was trying to get out of the way. They gave them the benefit of the doubt on it."

Pickard said, "I had a foot in my crease. I tried to get over there a couple of times, there were just so many bodies in front of me. You could see their guy kind of pushed [Johnson] into me."

Video: MIN@COL: Pickard stops Bertschy's backhand attempt


Goal of the game

The Avalanche were in an 0-for-10 power-play slump covering three games when Landeskog skated down the slot to convert Duchene's pass.

Video: MIN@COL: Landeskog buries MacKinnon's feed for PPG


Saves of the game

The Wild (6-4-1) were on a power play at 4:59 of the second period when Suter took a shot that Pickard stopped. Wild forwards Jason Zucker and Coyle converged on the puck and took whacks at it, but Pickard was able to cover it.

Video: MIN@COL: Pickard robs Zucker with two great saves


Highlight of the game

The Wild limited the Avalanche to one shot while killing a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 1:43 and began 37 seconds into the second period with Matt Dumba (cross-checking) and Suter (slashing) in the penalty box.

Unsung moment of the game

Suter took a shot with three minutes remaining that hit the left post and caromed through the crease behind Pickard.


They said it

"I thought we had a really good game all the way through. Dubnyk was playing really well. I knew I had to limit my mistakes; goals were hard to come by. We were doing all the right things, we just couldn't score." -- Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard


Video: MIN@COL: Pickard covers Schroeder's quick attempt


"It didn't come easy for us, that's for sure. We had some breakdowns where we needed a save, but our guys stuck with it and we kept working hard, our compete level was where it needed to be from all of our guys. I don't think we had any passengers." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Avalanche center John Mitchell cleared waivers Saturday and played on the fourth line. ... Duchene has five goals and four assists in the past seven games. ... The Avalanche went 1-for-4 on the power play and are 3-for-26 in the past eight games. Colorado killed three power plays and have killed 24 of 26 in a seven-game stretch. ... The Wild killed 29 of 30 penalties this season before Landeskog scored.


What's next

Wild: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-N, NHL.TV).

Avalanche: At the St. Louis Blues on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; FS-MW, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Pickard, Landeskog lift Avalanche past Wild, 1-0

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