Puck drop: 2:08 p.m. CT
Listen: KOOL 107.9 FM
Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter
The Colorado Avalanche enter Saturday having lost two-straight games and badly in need of a win. After a nearly week-long stretch without a game, the Avalanche have tasted victory just once in the past 15 days and will be desperate to keep pace in the Central Division early in the season. Colorado placed forward John Mitchell on waivers on Friday; the center has been good against the Wild in recent seasons, scoring five goals and 11 points in 21 games versus the Wild in his career.
• Wild forward Chris Stewart was a first-round pick of the Avalanche in the 2006 NHL Draft and played in 166 games with the franchise from 2008-11.
• Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is from Bloomington, Minn., skated at the Academy of Holy Angels and played one season at the University of Minnesota.
• Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson played in 20 games for the Avalanche during the 2003-04 season.
• Wild assistant coach Andrew Brunette scored 70 goals and had 205 points in 246 games over three seasons in Colorado from 2005-08.
Rocky Mountain High
The Wild is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games against the Avalanche, including five shutout victories during that span. In those games, Minnesota has outscored Colorado, 33-13, and has outshot the Avalanche, 336-244.
At the Rink
Because of the afternoon start time, the Wild and Avalanche did not skate at the Pepsi Center this morning.
Here are the projected lineups:
Jason Zucker - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle
Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville
Nino Niederreiter - Joel Eriksson Ek - Chris Stewart
Jordan Schroeder - Tyler Graovac - Christoph Bertschy
Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba
Nate Prosser - Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin
Gabriel Landeskog - Matt Duchene - Jarome Iginla
Mikhail Grigorenko - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Rene Bourque - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau
Andreas Martinsen - Joe Colborne - Cody McLeod
Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson
Patrick Wiercioch - Tyson Barrie
Francois Beauchemin - Eric Gelinas