RW Chuck Kobasew tallied his second career hat trick and LW Andrew Brunette netted the game-winner on the power play midway through the third period, as the Minnesota Wild outlasted the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 in front of 18,365 at Xcel Energy Center. Brunette added an assist, C Mikko Koivu
had three helpers and RW Owen Nolan scored a goal for Minnesota, which finished a four-game homestand 2-1-1. G Niklas Backstrom
made 30 saves for Minnesota. The Wild and Avs meet again Saturday in Denver at 8 p.m. (ct).
RW Chuck Kobasew posted his second career hat trick – both coming against Colorado. The other came on Jan. 24, 2006, at Colorado. It marked the Wild’s 14th all-time hat trick – the first since Marian Gaborik scored five goals against the N.Y. Rangers, Dec. 20, 2007.
LW Andrew Brunette scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season, on the power play in the third period. The former Avalanche forward added an assist and ranks second on the team with 19 points (9-10=19). Brunette has a point in four of his last five games, with six points (2-4=6) in that span.
C Mikko Koivu
netted a season-high three assists. He leads the Wild in assists (18) and points (24). Koivu has a point in seven of his last nine games, with 12 points (3-9=12) in that span.
LW Derek Boogaard recorded his first assist in 39 games played since Dec. 19, 2008, against the New York Islanders. It marked Boogaard’s ninth career helper in 214 NHL games.
G Niklas Backstrom
made 31 saves, allowing more than two goals at home versus Colorado for just the second time in 10 regular season starts. Backstrom is 8-1-1 with a 2.29 GAA and a .919 SV% in 10 home games against Colorado. He is 25-5-8 with a 1.76 GAA and a .933 SV% in 38 home games against the Northwest Division, allowing two or fewer goals 29 times.
RW Owen Nolan scored his seventh goal of the season – two off the team lead. It marked the third goal in three games for Nolan, drafted first overall by the Quebec/Colorado franchise in 1990.
D Shane Hnidy played in his 500th career NHL game.
Minnesota went 2-for-4 on the power play. The Wild has a PPG in three straight games for the first time since Oct. 24-Oct. 28. Minnesota went four straight games with a PPG to open the season, Oct. 3-Oct. 10.
The Wild is 7-3-1 at Xcel Energy Center this season and is 13-3-5 in its last 21 games at home dating back to Feb.19.
Minnesota is 10-1-2 in its last 13 regular season games against Colorado and is 11-1-2 in the last 14 home games against the Avalanche.