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Cullen Leads Wild Past Avalanche In Denver, 3-1

(Sports Network) – Matt Cullen was involved in every Minnesota score, tallying two goals and an assist, as the Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1, at the Pepsi Center.

Niklas Backstrom stopped 36-of-37 shots for Minnesota, which has won three straight for the first time since November 14-19. Andrew Brunette added a goal in the win.

David Jones scored the lone goal for the Avalanche, whose six-game win streak was snapped on Tuesday’s 5-0 loss to Los Angeles and now have dropped two straight.

Craig Anderson allowed three goals on just 14 shots before getting pulled in the second period. Peter Budaj ended the contest turning away all 18 shots he faced.

The game’s scoring opened after Cal Clutterbuck went on the breakaway 9 1/2 minutes in the first. Anderson made the save, but Cullen collected the rebound and wristed it into the wide open net.

Colorado answered back 45 seconds later on Jones’ power-play goal, but Cullen tallied his second goal of game to regain the Minnesota edge, 2-1, at the 16:04 mark of the first.

Nearly three minutes into the middle frame, Brunette backhanded a rebound from the back boards to gave Minnesota a 3-1 edge and Anderson was promptly pulled after the goal in favor of Budaj.

Backstrom was strong during the final period, turning away 15 shots. Meanwhile, the conservative play of the Wild only produced only eight shots to hang onto the lead.

Game Notes

It was Cullen’s first two-goal game of the season…Avalanche center Greg Mauldin was injured during a hit on Marco Scandella in the third period. Mauldin was on the ice for quite some time before he left the ice with help and never returned…The Wild have taken six of the last eight against Colorado.

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