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game recap

Wild match their records for wins, points

Defeat Avalanche for third straight victory heading into season finale

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- The Minnesota Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 at Pepsi Center on Thursday to match their records for wins (48) and points (104) in a season set in 2006-07.

Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker and Nate Prosser scored for the Wild (48-25-8), who have clinched second place in the Central Division and close out the regular season Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"It's exciting and also gives us an opportunity to pass [the records] on Saturday," said goalie Devan Dubnyk, who had 30 saves for his 40th win, an NHL career high and Wild record. "It's been a great season for us.


WATCH: All Wild vs. Avalanche highlights


"There's not a lot of guys each year that get to 40 wins, so it's a good bar to set. I thought I was going to get a little higher at the beginning of March, so it took a little longer than I planned on. But if you could tell me at the start of the year that I was going to finish the season with 40 wins, I would have probably said, 'Yeah, sure.'"

The Avalanche thought they tied it 4-4 with 1:14 left in regulation when Sven Andrighetto poked a loose puck into the net on a power play. After a video review said it was a good goal, it was disallowed for goalie interference following a challenge by Wild coach Bruce Boudreau.

Video: MIN@COL: Granlund picks the corner from sharp angle

"It was pretty crazy, but I'm glad they got the call right on the goalie interference," Dubnyk said. "The puck was sitting between my knees and I was looking at it and then [Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin] got knocked into me. I'm glad they got that call right even though the fans don't agree."

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he was told that Nathan MacKinnon pushed Brodin into Dubnyk, impeding his ability to make a save.

"I thought he was trying to push me, it's just a battle," MacKinnon said. "It's really frustrating. It's disallowed and then they allow it and have a lengthy review. Obviously it doesn't really matter to us in the standings, but it's just frustrating. We want to win. We're competitive guys and it's tough to take at home."

Niederreiter went back door to convert Eric Staal's pass for his 25th goal at 6:43 of the third period to give the Wild a 3-2 lead and Granlund scored from a sharp angle for his 26th goal at 10:00 to make it 4-2.

The Avalanche got within 4-3 at 14:20 on Matt Nieto's seventh goal.

Video: MIN@COL: Nieto banks goal home off Prosser

"I thought we played with more jump and more pace in the third period," Boudreau said. "We were lucky to get out of the second period with a tie. We had a chance to regroup and came back in the third."

Francois Beauchemin and Tyson Jost also scored for the Avalanche (22-55-3), who finished 13-26-2 at home.

The Avalanche closed to 2-1 at 5:44 of the second period when Jost, playing his fourth NHL game, scored his first NHL goal. Beauchemin tied it 2-2 with his fourth of the season at 14:55.

The Wild took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Zucker and Prosser.

Zucker scored his 22nd 10 seconds into the game and Prosser made it 2-0 at 14:09 with his second.

Video: MIN@COL: Prosser picks the corner with a wrister

Goal of the game

Jost scored after Gabriel Landeskog's pass went to him after it went off Rocco Grimaldi's stick in the slot. Jost maneuvered in the right circle to avoid a stick on the ice and shot over Dubnyk's left shoulder.

Video: MIN@COL: Jost scores first NHL goal, grandpa tears up

Save of the game

Pickard snared Staal's shot with his glove at 18:48 of the second period after Niederreiter set him up in the slot.

Video: MIN@COL: Pickard flashes the leather to stone Staal

Highlight of the game

Pickard left the net to play the puck after Wild forward Charlie Coyle dumped it in off the end boards. Zucker knocked it off the goalie's stick and scored on a wraparound.

Video: MIN@COL: Zucker nets wraparound 10 seconds into game

Unsung performance of the game

Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens had six hits in 11:05 and helped kill two Wild power plays.


They said it

"It tells you we're doing something right this season and winning games. It's nice to break those records, but we want something more from this season." -- Wild forward Mikael Granlund, on Minnesota tying Wild records for wins and points


"It's nice to get it in front of the home crowd. Hopefully there's going to be many more of those at home and on the road too." -- Avalanche rookie forward Tyson Jost on his first NHL goal


Need to know

Linesman Ryan Galloway fell to the ice after he was hit in the face with a deflected puck at 3:15 of the first period. He needed assistance to the trainer's room and didn't return ... Avalanche rookie forward Mikko Rantanan (lower body) missed his second consecutive game ... Wild forwards Mikko Koivu (rest) and Jared Spurgeon (lower body) were scratched.


What's next

Wild: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, FS-N, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW+, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Wild stave off a rally by Avalanche for 4-3 win

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