C Mikko Koivu netted the game winner and added an empty-net goal as Minnesota claimed a 5-3 victory over Colorado Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. LW Torrey Mitchell, RW Devin Setoguchi and D Jonas Brodin also scored for Minnesota, while D Ryan Suter matched a career high with three assists. G Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves in the victory. The Wild completes the home-and-home set with the Avalanche Saturday in Denver at 2 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3.
Minnesota moved to 10-3-1 on home ice this season, 6-1-1 in its last eight at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota has outshot its opponent in 11 of its 14 games in Saint Paul this season, including five straight contests by a 176-122 margin. The Wild earned its 10th straight sellout at Xcel Energy Center, 12th of the season, with an attendance of 18,989 tonight.
D Ryan Suter recorded a three-point game for the first time with the Minnesota, matching his career best with three points in a game for the fourth time in his career. It was his fifth multi-point game of the season and he posted a +3 rating. He has 11 assists in his last nine games and ranks second among all NHL defensemen with 20 helpers this year. He has 21 points (1-20=21) in 26 games this season; D Jared Spurgeon led Wild blueliners with 23 points (3-20=23) in 70 games last season.
C Mikko Koivu netted two goals for the first time since Nov. 19, 2011 and recorded his team-leading seventh multi-point game of the year. He earned a +3 rating on the night, one shy of his career best. He leads Minnesota with 22 points (6-16=22) this season.
LW Zach Parise notched two assists for his fifth multi-point game of the year and tied his career high with a +3 rating. He has 21 points (11-10=21) in 26 games this season.
LW Matt Cullen netted two assists to extend his assist streak to three games (4) and earn his third multi-point game of the season. He now has eight assists in his last eight games. He recorded a game-high seven shots – a feat only topped in five of his 1,057 games (8 shots three times, 9 shots twice). He ranks fourth on the Wild with 17 points (3-14=16) this season.
D Jonas Brodin scored his first career NHL goal. He has four points (1-3=4) in 23 games this season and is the youngest defenseman in the NHL.
G Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves to move to 9-3-1 in his last 13 games and 8-3-1 on home ice this season. He is now 13-3-2 against the Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center all-time, posting a 22-5-3 record versus Colorado overall in his career.
RW Devin Setoguchi recorded his seventh goal of the season, his second in as many games. He has 12 points (7-5=12) in his last 16 games and 14 points (7-7=14) on the season.
LW Torrey Mitchell tallied his second goal of the season to open the game’s scoring. It was his first point in four games and first goal in 10 games – scoring the winner Feb. 17 versus Detroit.
Minnesota scored five goals for the first time this season, previous totaling four goals in five games this season – including three of its last seven games.
The Wild scored the opening goal for its sixth straight game, extending its longest stretch of the season. The Wild moved to 9-4-0 when scoring first this year.
The Wild allowed a power-play goal for just the third time in its last 12 games, moving to 29-of-32 (90.6%) on the PK in that span.