Series (Game 1 of 6)

Minnesota leads 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, November 27th
Game 2: Thursday, December 23rd
Game 3: Friday, January 14th
Game 4: Thursday, February 3rd
Game 5: Wednesday, February 9th
Game 6: Tuesday, March 8th

Wild 4

(11-9-2, 24 pts)

Avalanche 7

(13-9-1, 27 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 27, 2010

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
MIN 2 1 14
COL 1 4 27

G. Mauldin (Avalanche - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

K. Shattenkirk (Avalanche - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Wild-Avalanche Preview


The Colorado Avalanche may have picked a bad time to slump with the Minnesota Wild coming to town.

Minnesota tries for its sixth win in seven road games against Colorado, loser of two straight, on Saturday night.

The Avalanche had won four in a row before falling 4-2 at Vancouver on Wednesday and 3-2 at Edmonton the next day. Colorado scored 19 goals during the win streak.

The defeat to lowly Edmonton was particularly painful, with rookie Taylor Hall scoring the winner with 29 seconds remaining.

"We didn't have a good start to the game," said coach Joe Sacco, whose team trailed 2-0 within the first four minutes. "We had a few guys that weren't ready when the puck dropped and that cost us a couple of goals. You certainly don't want to give up a goal in the last minute of the game."

Matt Duchene scored for the third time in four games and added an assist for Colorado (12-9-1), which has been held to two or fewer goals in eight losses.

Peter Budaj made 21 saves in place of the injured Craig Anderson, who sat out with a groin injury. Budaj has given up three goals in each his last six appearances.

He has gone 1-2-1 in his last four starts against Minnesota despite a 1.44 goals-against average.

The Wild have won three straight at the Pepsi Center, the last two by 1-0 scores. Minnesota has three shutouts during its 5-0-1 stretch in Denver.

The Wild haven't limited their recent domination of Colorado to the road, going 13-2-2 in the last 17 overall meetings.

Minnesota (11-8-2) avoided a season-high third straight loss Friday, beating Nashville 5-2. Martin Havlat scored twice for his 30th career multi-goal game and first since Feb. 4.

"I feel pretty good," Havlat said. "I'm getting the opportunity to be on the ice in key situations. It doesn't matter if I score or anybody else, it's about winning the game. We won so it was a good afternoon."

Havlat, who scored only 18 goals and was a career-worst minus-19 in his first season with the Wild in 2009-10, had just three goals prior to Friday. He leads the Wild with 20 points, however.

"That's the Marty of old with speed like that and coming down making plays," defenseman Nick Schultz said. "He makes a move and gets it to the net. ... He's been playing well the last while. We can be a really good team when we get him going."

The Wild hadn't reached the five-goal mark since Oct. 19.

Jose Theodore, making his fourth start of the season, had 32 saves Friday. Niklas Backstrom, 14-3-2 with a 2.10 GAA and two shutouts against the Avalanche, is expected to be in net Saturday.