ST. PAUL, Minn. (ESPN.com news services) -- Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire
believes good teams make their opponents pay for mistakes. If that
logic holds, Minnesota's 2-2 tie with the Colorado Avalanche on
Friday is further evidence the Wild are becoming a legitimate
Antti Laaksonen's third-period goal tied the game for Minnesota.
Laaksonen picked off an errant pass by Avalanche defenseman Bryan
Muir and got off a wrist shot for his seventh goal of the season.
It was part of a third period in which the Wild dominated the
Avalanche, but were held to just the one goal.
"In the third we tried to be a little bit more agressive on the
puck, and to make them pay if they made a mistake,'' said Lemaire.
"I could see that their team was as tired as ours, but since we
were at home, I thought we had an opportunity.''
The Wild, who began the day tied with Vancouver atop the
Northwest Division, had lost their last two games and were somewhat
desperate to get a point at home with five of their next six games
on the road. Colorado ran its unbeaten streak to six games (2-0-4).
"It's very easy to analyze: We scored two goals and we gave
them their two goals,'' said Colorado coach Bob Hartley. "They
made us pay for those two big mistakes.''
The teams traded power-play goals in the first period. Colorado
scored halfway through the period when Rob Blake's low shot from
the top of the left circle was tipped in front of the net by Peter
Forsberg. It went between the pads of goalie Dwayne Roloson.
Forsberg left in the second period with a groin injury. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, coach Bob Hartley said he didn't think the injury is too serious but said Forsberg will be re-evaluated before Saturday night's game against the Oilers at the Skyreach Centre.
Minnesota answered in the final minute of the opening period
when Richard Park carried the puck into the Avalanche zone on a
2-on-1 break with Pascal Dupuis. Park skated between the circles,
then put a low shot past goalie Patrick Roy on the glove side.
The Avalanche played a dominant second period, outshooting the
Wild 9-4 and getting the period's only goal. With Minnesota
defenseman Brad Bombardir knocked down in the crease, Colorado's
Vaclav Nedorost skated across the front of the goal and got off a
back-hander. Roloson tried to move to block the shot, but tripped
over Bombardir, leaving half the net open for Nedorost.
"I didn't see Bombardir there, and when I tried to move with
the puck, I realized I wasn't going to make it,'' said Roloson. "I
tried to jump over Bombardir, but I didn't make it.''
Roy finished with 27 saves, 15 in the third period. Roloson had
"You can't look at the result, you need to look at the way
we're playing,'' said Roy. "Today we had a good 40 minutes, and
then Minnesota played a lot better than us.''
Hartley said that Forsberg will be re-evaluated
Saturday, and that he did not believe the injury was serious. ...
Minnesota's 29-26 advantage in shots on goal marked only the sixth
time the Wild have outshot an opponent this season. The Wild's 16
third-period shots were a season high for one period. ... Colorado
is now 24-0-4-2 in its past 30 games in which Forsberg has scored.