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Wild Go for Three in a Row vs Avalanche

(Sports Network) – The Avalanche had no problem scoring goals in a rare victory over the Wild back in late November. Another visit by Minnesota to the Pepsi Center tonight may be what Colorado needs after getting shut out for the first time this season on Tuesday.

Looking to bounce back after having their longest losing streak of the season halted, the Avs continue a five-game homestand against the Wild.

Colorado had won six in a row prior to Tuesday’s 5-0 setback to Los Angeles. The Avalanche were outshot 32-23, including 13-8 in a three-goal third period for the Kings.

Craig Anderson allowed all five goals as the Avalanche fell to 2-1-0 on their residency and 7-1-1 in their last nine at home overall.

“[The Kings] create all their chances from playing good defensive hockey,” said Anderson. “They control the puck from their defensive zone, and they created good opportunities all game.”

Colorado, which is one point behind Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division, set a single-game season high for goals scored in a 7-4 home victory over the Wild on Nov. 27, a total it matched in a victory over Chicago on Dec. 13.

Led by Greg Mauldin’s two goals and two assists, the Avalanche picked up just their second victory in their last eight games versus the Wild and snapped a three-game series home losing streak.

Peter Budaj made 28 saves to get the win, but Anderson will get the start tonight and is 1-3-2 with a 2.64 goals-against average in his career versus Minnesota.

Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom was touched for a career-worst seven goals on 38 shots to fall to 14-4-2 with a 2.37 GAA when facing Colorado. He will get the start again tonight after making 62 total saves in a home-and-home sweep of the Flames.

After notching a 3-1 road win on Saturday, Minnesota knocked off Calgary, 4-1, at home on Monday, getting third-period goals from Martin Havlat, John Madden and Cal Clutterbuck, who scored into an empty net.

Kyle Brodziak, who scored twice in the earlier loss to the Avalanche, also lit the lamp, Havlat and Clutterbuck added assists, while Backstrom notched 34 saves.

“It was a game to go out and get and we went out and got it,” said Wild head coach Todd Richards.

Minnesota has now won two straight and four of its last six, and will try to win three straight for the first time since Nov. 14-19.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.