C John Madden snapped a tie midway through the third period, G Niklas Backstrom
made 28 saves, and RW Martin Havlat, D Jared Spurgeon
and C Kyle Brodziak
had a goal and an assist apiece, as the Minnesota Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in front of 18,441 at Xcel Energy Center. LW Andrew Brunette also scored as the Wild moved into a tie for eighth with idle Los Angeles, which currently holds the No. 8 spot with a game in hand. Minnesota, just three points back of fourth-place Chicago, plays at Nashville on Thursday to begin a four-game road trip that also goes through Dallas, Vancouver and San Jose.
C John Madden scored his 11th goal of the season, with 9:05 left in regulation. That’s the most goals for Madden since he scored 20 in 2007-08 with New Jersey. The three-time Stanley Cup winner has four GWG to tie a career-high (set in 2000-01 with Cup-finalist New Jersey), a total that’s also tied for the team lead.
C Kyle Brodziak
tallied a goal and an assist to set a new career-high with his 33rd point (15-18=33). Brodziak had 32 (9-23=32) points last season. Brodziak has tallied 10 points (4-6=10) in the past nine home games.
RW Martin Havlat scored his team-leading 21st goal and added an assist. He now has points in five straight games (2-5=7) and in nine of 10 (5-6=11). The Wild is 14-2-3 when Havlat scores a goal, and 25-13-4 when he has a point. Havlat also leads the team in assists (38), points (59) and is tied for first in GWG (four).
D Jared Spurgeon
recorded a goal and an assist for his first career two-point game. The rookie blueliner has nine points (2-7=9) in 38 games this season – but all the points have come in his last 18 games.
LW Andrew Brunette scored his 16th goal of the season – his eighth PPG. Brunette has 55 PPG with the Wild – four off Marian Gaborik’s team record.
LW Pierre-Marc Bouchard
had an assist and has tallied 10 points (3-7=10) in the past 10 games.
D Brent Burns recorded an assist, giving him 42 points (16-26=42) to move within one point of his career-high. Burns had 43 points (15-28=43) in 2007-08. That also marks the team’s defenseman points record, matched by Marek Zidlicky in 2009-10.
G Niklas Backstrom
made 28 saves to win for the first time in four starts. Backstrom, who was pulled in his last start, is 15-2-4 all-time with a 1.95 GAA and a .930 SV% in the start after being pulled. He is 12-0-2 with a 1.75 GAA and a .939 SV% in the last 14 instances.
LW Guillaume Latendresse
returned after missing 58 games following hip surgery. Latendresse last played on Oct. 25.
The Wild allowed a second-period PPG, snapping a streak of 19 consecutive kills at home over the last six games.
Minnesota is 7-2-2 in its last 11 home games.
The Wild is 11-3-0 in its last 14 home games against Colorado.