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game recap

Wild score four straight, defeat Avalanche for third win in row

Staal has two goals, assist for Minnesota, which has won four of five

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

Staal capitalizes on turnover

MIN@COL: Staal buries nifty deflection off takeaway

Charlie Coyle grabs a turnover and finds Eric Staal, who redirects the feed past Philip Grubauer, tying the game at 1 in the 1st

  • 00:53 •

DENVER -- Eric Staal scored two goals and had an assist for the Minnesota Wild in a 5-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Jared Spurgeon, Charlie Coyle and Ryan Suter scored, and Devan Dubnyk made 20 saves for the Wild (26-21-3), who have won three straight games and four of their past five heading into 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend.

Minnesota scored four straight goals after falling behind 2-1 with 7:20 left in the first period.

 

[WATCH: All Wild vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

"We wanted this game, we knew it was important," Staal said. "We're smart enough to know the standings and know how competitive our division is. We wanted to follow up the same effort we had in [a 4-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday]. We came in with the right mindset and played a strong game. We had everyone contributing, and hopefully we'll come back and be re-energized and excited about finishing strong."

Video: MIN@COL: Staal buries PPG for his second of the game

Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves for the Avalanche (22-20-8), who have lost three of their past four games and 12 of their past 15 (3-10-2) entering the All-Star break.

"We need to be better," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We had two leads in the beginning of the game and we can't build on them. I think everybody realizes what position we're in and what needs to be done when we get back. Nothing needs to be said."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead at 5:42 of the first period when Soderberg scored from in front off a pass from Colin Wilson for his NHL career-high 17th goal.

The Wild tied it 1-1 at 6:50. Staal forced a turnover by defenseman Samuel Girard and passed to Coyle at the right point. Staal moved to the left side of the net and redirected Coyle's pass.

Barrie scored a power-play goal at 12:40 to put the Avalanche ahead 2-1. Nathan MacKinnon passed to Barrie at the top of the slot for a shot through a screen.

Video: MIN@COL: Barrie blasts wrist shot past Dubnyk for PPG

The Wild tied it 2-2 on Spurgeon's goal at 16:27. Suter passed across to Spurgeon pinching down the right side for a shot to the short side.

Minnesota went ahead 3-2 at 7:24 of the second when Staal scored from along the goal line during a 5-on-3 power play after Colorado's Matt Calvert dropped his broken stick.

"Eric Staal was great," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He's reminding me of this time last year when he started to go and find his legs. It's a great time that the boys deserve a break. But you certainly wish you could keep playing if they're going to play like that."

The Avalanche killed off Barrie's double minor for high-sticking Jordan Greenway at 12:23 of the second, but Coyle made it 4-2 with 23 seconds left in the period when he skated to the bottom of the right face-off circle and scored off Zach Parise's pass from behind the net.

Video: MIN@COL: Coyle, Parise team up to extend Wild's lead

"On Charlie's goal, I mean, there were so many good things done on the goal that we've been practicing," Boudreau said. "It was really enlightening. It was fun to watch."

The Wild extended the lead to 5-2 at 8:13 of the third period when Suter scored from the left circle on another 5-on-3 power play.

"We did some good things early in the game, and then I think frustration … just branching off on our own, fragmenting as a team," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We have to find a way to be more mature and stick to the game and continue to play whether it's frustrating or not."

Video: Clutch Performance: Staal gets three points

 

They said it

"[The Avalanche are] right behind us in the standings. This isn't the end-all be-all, but it's another step in the right direction. Something we obviously wanted to take care of going on break, being our last game for a while, so we want to make sure we get as many points as we can." -- Wild forward Charlie Coyle

 

"Penalties and poor execution, just not doing the right things with the puck. We didn't take care of the puck. Too many turnovers in the middle of the ice, not willing to skate the puck and chip the puck, make a safe, smart decision and head to the right areas to win the battles. Looking to be too cute, too stubborn with the puck." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Need to know

Staal has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games. … Coyle has two goals and two assists in a three-game point streak. … The Wild went 2-for-6 on the power play after going 0-for-12 in the previous four games. … Barrie needs one goal to tie John-Michael Liles (68) for most by a defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history. … Barrie has 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in his past 12 games.

 

What's next

Wild: At the Dallas Stars on Feb. 1 (8 p.m. ET; FS-SW, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 2 (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, ALT2, NHL.TV)

Video: Staal, Dubnyk lead Wild past Avalanche in 5-2 victory

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