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Zach Parise scores 3 times as Wild rally from 3-goal deficit to beat Avalanche 5-4

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DENVER - Zach Parise scored three times, including the tiebreaking tally in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Thursday night.

Trailing 4-1 in the final period, the Wild had four goals in a 5:07 span to stun the Avalanche. Parise scored twice, while Thomas Vanek and Nino Niederreiter added the other two.

Parise beat Semyon Varlamov with a slap shot to put Minnesota up for good midway through the third period. Colorado pulled Varlamov for an extra skater in the final minute but couldn't score on Devan Dubnyk.

Jarome Iginla, Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog had goals in the first period for Colorado. John Mitchell added another in the second as the Avalanche built what appeared to be a comfortable lead before the Wild stormed back.

Varlamov stopped 19 of 20 shots before unraveling in the third period.

Francois Beauchemin had three assists for the Avalanche. The defenceman was signed in the off-season to add more a physical presence.

Dubnyk got off to a rough start, but kept the Wild in the game. He lifted Minnesota into the post-season last season with his splendid play down the stretch after he was acquired from Arizona. He went 27-9-2 with a 1.78 goals-against average.

Parise nearly had a goal in the first period, when he outraced everyone to a loose puck at centre ice and skated in alone on Varlamov. But he clanged a shot off the left post.

After that, it was all Avs in the opening period as Iginla beat Dubnyk with a wrist shot, Johnson knocked in a shot off a slap shot and Landeskog added a third by tipping in the puck following a carom off the boards.

Two of them were on power plays. They were 29th on the power play a year ago. This from an Avalanche team that struggled to score goals in the preseason.

Teenager Mikko Rantanen showed some nerves in his NHL debut, with the puck rolling under his stick on his first scoring chance. At 18 years, 344 days, he's the fifth-youngest player to suit up for the Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon tops the list, making his debut on Oct. 2, 2013, against Anaheim at 18 years, 31 days.

NOTES: Jason Pominville and Mikael Granlund both had two assists for Minnesota. ... The Avs scratched defencemen Brad Stuart and Brandon Gormley ... Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said the team will skip the traditional morning practices before games, a decision Landeskog fully supports. "There's a lot of energy that goes into morning skates," Landeskog said. "If we do eliminate them, more focus and more enthusiasm will go into practices, which are really more important."

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