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Wild Vs. Avalanche: Minnesota Begins Long Homestand With Colorado

The Minnesota Wild are holding down first place in the NHL's Northwest Division, a spot they will look to maintain as they begin a long homestand Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild will play their next six games at home as they look to build on their 10-5-1 record.

The Wild didn't have the most balanced schedule to start the season considering they are just returning from a five-game road trip. They were able to pick up six points, however, making the time away from home quite a bit more palatable as they begin to occupy Minnesota for the next eleven days.

The Wild will be counting on goalie Niklas Backstrom to continue his hot streak as he went 3-1 during the road trip with a .953 save percentage. Matt Cullen will also try to score a goal in his third consecutive game when the puck drops against the Avalanche to open their first of six games this season.

The Avalanche will bring an 8-9-1 record into Thursday night's game. Colorado's offensive output thus far this season has been led by Matt Duchene as he's scored seven goals and added seven assists for 14 total points. Milan Hejduk and Kyle Quicey aren't far behind with 13 points apiece through the team's first 18 games.

The game will be avaiable locally on Fox Sports North with Wild Live leading into the hockey game starting at 7 p.m.

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