Series (Game 1 of 6)

Colorado leads 3-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 16th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 4th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 4: Sunday, January 4th
Game 5: Sunday, February 22nd
Game 6: Wednesday, March 31st

Avalanche 5

(2-1-0, 4 pts)

Wild 2

(1-3-0, 2 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 16, 2003

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

1 2 3 T
COL 1 3 15
MIN 0 1 12

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Blake (Avalanche - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

A. Daigle (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Colorado offense dominant

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Peter Forsberg ignited a three-goal second period, Teemu Selanne crushed any hopes for a comeback in the third and the Colorado Avalanche looked flat-out dominant.

Forsberg notched a goal and an assist and Selanne scored his first goal in a Colorado uniform as the Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Thursday night.

"I think they will do this to a lot of teams in this league," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said after the Avs recorded their second five-goal game of the season. They beat Chicago 5-0 in their season opener.

Forsberg scored the first of three second-period goals for Colorado, which beat the Wild for the 12th time in 16 regular-season games. John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk also scored in the second for the Avalanche.

David Aebischer stopped 21 shots for Colorado to send the Wild to their third loss of the season. Andrei Nikolishin scored his first goal of the season, giving Colorado an early 1-0 lead.

"It was good to see production from different guys," Forsberg said.

It was the first meeting between the teams since the first round of last year's playoffs, where the upstart Wild eliminated the Avs in seven games.

A lot has changed since then.

Patrick Roy is gone and Colorado has juiced up its lineup with Selanne and Paul Kariya. The Wild, meanwhile, are still missing their top two goal scorers from last season -- holdouts Marian Gaborik and Pascal Dupuis.

Their absence is noticeable.

The Wild entered the game 0-for-12 on the power play. They had a chance to pull within a goal with eight minutes left in the game when Bates Battaglia was sent to the penalty box for hooking.

But Minnesota looked out-of-sync against Colorado's smooth penalty kill, and throughout the game for that matter.

"They seemed to be a little tight and we had room to move," Hejduk said.

Selanne sent the fans to the exits at the 16:28 mark when he intercepted a pass at the blue line and beat a sprawled Manny Fernandez, who made 26 saves.

Minnesota broke its power-play drought at 3:52 of the second period when Alexandre Daigle scored his second goal of the season to make it 1-all.

"Well, we got one," Lemaire said with a laugh. "Some percent."

But the Avs regained the lead 38 seconds later when Forsberg picked up Alex Tanguay's rebound and beat Fernandez's glove to put Colorado up 2-1.

"That goal broke the game open," Forsberg said.

"Our line had a pretty good shift and we scored and then Liles made it 3-1. That was the game right there. When you get up by two goals, you're not going to lose too many games."

Liles tipped a shot past Fernandez in front of the net at 6:52 of the second for his first career goal. And Hejduk made it 4-1 on a late power play -- Colorado's only power play of the game.

From behind the net, Forsberg zipped the puck to Hejduk, who wristed it from the left side of the net behind Fernandez, drawing a groan from the crowd.

The Wild pulled to 4-2 on Darby Hendrickson's first goal of the season in the third. Hendrickson picked up a loose puck in front of the net and got the shot off as he fell to his knees, beating Aebsicher's stick side at 6:06.

But Selanne's goal deflated any hopes for a comeback.

Game notes

It took 14 games for Minnesota to lose its third game last year. ... Kariya turned 29 on Thursday. ... Nikolishin, who played with Chicago last season, also scored his first goal as a member of the Avalanche. ... Wild RW Richard Park missed his fourth straight game with an injured right knee. ... Colorado D Martin Skoula missed his second straight game with a bruised foot. ... The Wild unveiled their third jersey -- a red throwback with a circular logo on the chest.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press