GAME: Minnesota Wild (14-15-10-0) at Colorado Avalanche (19-10-7-1).
TIME: Sunday, 9 p.m. EST.
With Peter Forsberg slowly regaining his MVP form, the Colorado Avalanche
may be ready to assert themselves in the Western Conference.
Forsberg and the Avalanche try to win for the fourth time in five games when
they take on the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center.
In his fourth game since missing 19 with a groin injury, Forsberg set up the
first three Colorado goals, including Milan Hejduk's go-ahead score with 7:44
remaining, in the Avalanche's 4-2 victory at Vancouver on Friday.
Forsberg, last season's NHL MVP, was limited to one assist in his first
"I think I can do better but at least it's a step in the right direction,"
Forsberg said. "I knew it was going to take some time. As long as I can get in
shape, I'm going to get better and better."
Rob Blake, Alex Tanguay and captain Joe Sakic also had goals for the
Avalanche, winners of three of four following a six-game winless streak.
Forsberg's return figures to be particularly beneficial for Tanguay, who
scored his first goal in eight games Friday and also had two assists.
"The last few games after Peter came back, we were all kind of on the
outside and we weren't playing well," Tanguay said. "We were all kind of
getting frustrated. Peter made some unbelievable plays in this game, and Milan
made a nice shot, so I guess we'll take it and try and build on it."
Colorado is also moving closer to having star left wing Paul Kariya back in
the lineup. Kariya, who has missed 20 consecutive games with a right wrist
injury, skated and stickhandled with the team in practice Friday.
"It feels a lot better," Kariya said. "I've got to be able to shoot the
puck and battle in the corners. I won't put a timetable on it, but it's really
close right now."
Minnesota's franchise-record, nine-game unbeaten streak was snapped Friday
with a 2-1 loss to visiting Edmonton.
Matt Johnson scored in the second period for the Wild, 4-0-5 in their
previous nine games.
"I thought this was one of our stronger games, certainly lately,"
defenseman Brad Bombardir said. "That's probably our best game we played out
of the last three. It's a fickle game that way."
While Friday's loss was Minnesota's first in 10 games, it is now winless in
five straight (0-1-4).
The Wild were 0-7-2 in their first nine regular season games at Colorado
before a 3-2 victory on Dec. 17 of last season.