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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Colorado

Wild plays first of four-consecutive games on the road Saturday in Denver

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com
The Essentials
Puck drop: 2:08 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GOWild Watch Bar LocationsNHL.TV

Listen: KOOL 107.9 FM

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

The Opponent

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. 

Connections

• 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:

WILD

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

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

AVALANCHE

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

Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard

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