LW Gabriel Landeskog tallied three points (1-2=3), including an empty-net goal with 20 seconds left in regulation to lead Colorado to a 3-1 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 19,081 fans Friday evening at Xcel Energy Center – the largest crowd of the season. G Josh Harding stopped 18-of-20 shots for the Wild, while LW Dany Heatley scored for Minnesota. Next up, Minnesota visits Colorado to finish the home-and-home tomorrow night in Denver at 8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North PLUS and KFAN 100.3.
The Wild outshot Colorado 28-21, including 22-6 to end the game.
LW Dany Heatley got Minnesota on the board with his sixth goal of the season, his fourth marker and fifth point in the last six games. He’s totaled nine points (6-3=9) in 27 games this season.
LW Erik Haula made his NHL debut and earned his first point with an assist on Heatley’s goal. He becomes the third player to make his NHL debut with the Wild this season, joining D Matt Dumba and RW Justin Fontaine.
RW Nino Niederreiter netted the primary assist on Heatley’s goal. He has four points (2-2=4) in his last six games, 10 points (3-7=10) in his last 13 contests and 15 points (5-10=15) in 27 games this season.
G Josh Harding returned to action, starting his first game since Nov. 20 at Ottawa. He suffered his first regulation home loss as a starter since March 27, 2012 (NYR), moving to 10-1-0 on home ice this season and 31-10-2 in his career at Xcel Energy Center.
LW Zach Parise returned to the lineup after missing one game with a left foot contusion. He leads Minnesota with 22 points (11-11=22) and five multi-point games this season.
The Wild moved to 10-3-2 on home ice, 9-4-1 in November and 15-8-4 this season.
D Jan Hejda, C Nathan MacKinon and LW Gabriel Landeskog scored for the Avalanche, while G Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves in net for Colorado.