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game recap

Grubauer, Avalanche shut out Wild for sixth straight victory

Makes 31 saves, MacKinnon has three assists; Kahkonen's nine-game win streak ends

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

Grubauer earns fifth shutout

MIN@COL: Grubauer records fifth shutout this season

Philipp Grubauer makes 31 saves, recording his fifth shutout this season and 16th of his career in the Avalanche's 6-0 victory against the Wild

  • 00:55 •

DENVER -- Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves for the Colorado Avalanche when they won their sixth straight game, 6-0 against the Minnesota Wild at Ball Arena on Saturday.

Grubauer got his NHL-leading fifth shutout for the Avalanche (19-8-2) and tied his NHL career high with his 18th win.

"Without my teammates it wouldn't be possible," Grubauer said. "Everybody's working hard, everybody's doing the right things in the [defensive] zone, blocking shots. Incredible work by everybody, sacrificing themselves. Moving forward, as we get closer to the playoffs, that's the way we need to play. It was two huge games against them. That's a team we might meet in the playoffs, so we wanted to make a statement."

Kaapo Kahkonen made 36 saves for the Wild (18-10-1) for his first loss in 10 games. He was 9-0-0 with a .947 save percentage and 1.44 goals-against average since a 4-0 loss at the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 16.

"We were outplayed in all aspects of the game," Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. "I can talk to you about different parts of the game, but there's no one part we did well in two hockey games. We talked hopefully that [Thursday] was a one-off, it wasn't; we got outplayed again tonight. If there was any positivity, I guess, the third period we asked the group to not check out on each other. We had some pushback in the third. Clearly it was not good enough. We thought our pace was really poor in these two games."

Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists, Nathan MacKinnon had three assists, and Cale Makar had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which was 7-1-1 on a nine-game homestand, including a 5-1 win against the Wild on Thursday.

"This entire homestand we've been real competitive and worked real hard and really paid attention to all the little things that we talk about all the time," Landeskog said. "As a group, we've done a good job of stepping up and realizing how big this homestand was, what an opportunity it was for us and to make a push in the standings."

Video: MIN@COL: Makar rings home PPG for early lead

Makar gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 4:13 of the first period on a power play with a screened shot from between the face-off circles.

"I just walked into the middle, kind of saw that their goalie was peeking out of the one side of our guy, so I just tried to rip it short side," Makar said. "I was aiming for his stick and luckily it went in. We knew these two games were very important, knew they were coming in hot. We wanted to start games strong. We wanted to get on them right away and we were able to do that."

Landeskog made it 2-0 at 11:05. He went to the net after a pass from MacKinnon and redirected the puck off Kahkonen's right shoulder.

The Avalanche increased their lead 46 seconds into the second period when Mikko Rantanen scored short side to make it 3-0.

Video: MIN@COL: Rantanen goes coast-to-coast for nifty goal

Tyson Jost put Colorado up 4-0 at 1:53 with a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from Joonas Donskoi. Devon Toews made it 5-0 at 18:47, scoring off a cross-ice pass from MacKinnon, who led a rush down right wing.

Colorado pushed the lead to 6-0 at 4:52 of the third period on a shot by Valeri Nichushkin.

"I like the fact we're playing good hockey throughout our lineup," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "There were no weak spots in our lineup, being committed on both sides of the puck. We're starting to put real strong performances together over the course of this homestand. I don't know if there was a game I didn't like."

The Wild had won five straight games and outscored opponents 17-4 before losing two straight to the Avalanche when they were outshot 97-51 and outscored 11-1.

"It wasn't the ideal the last couple of games for us, but we feel we're better than what we showed the last two, but you have to do it on a nightly basis and do it against the best teams," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "These guys are, no question, one of the best in our division."

NOTES: Wild defenseman Carson Soucy played 17:02 and had two shots on goal after serving a one-game suspension for charging Arizona Coyotes forward Conor Garland on Tuesday. … Minnesota was 0-for-4 on the power play and is 3-for-39 in its past 14 games. … Landeskog played his 660th game, fourth most in Avalanche history (since 1995-96). He has scored eight points (two goals, six assists) in a four-game point streak. … Rantanen has scored 10 points (five goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak. … MacKinnon has scored nine points (four goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak. … Grubauer is 18-7-0. The 29-year-old has won 18 games each of the past three seasons. ... Prior to the game, the Avalanche acquired goalie Jonas Johansson in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Video: Avalanche blank Wild for sixth consecutive victory

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