Series (Game 6 of 6)

Minnesota leads 5-1

Game 1: Wednesday, October 21st
Game 2: Friday, November 27th
Game 3: Saturday, November 28th
Game 4: Wednesday, December 9th
Game 5: Monday, December 21st
Game 6: Thursday, January 28th

Wild 1

(27-23-4, 58 pts)

Avalanche 0

(30-16-6, 66 pts)

9:00 PM ET, January 28, 2010

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
MIN 0 0 11
COL 0 0 00

J. Harding (Wild - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: 1.000

M. Havlat (Wild - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

C. Anderson (Avalanche - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .962

Havlat's late score lifts Wild past streaking Avalanche

Associated Press

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche were well-rested, had the hot goalie and were aiming for a bit of history. The Minnesota Wild had two ailing goaltenders and were coming off a hard-fought game against the Detroit Red Wings 24 hours earlier.

Fast Facts

• The Wild ended a six-game road losing streak.

• Minnesota has won three straight after losing its previous four games.

• The Avalanche have been shut out three times this season after getting blanked 12 times last season.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Sure enough, it made for another shutout.

Only it wasn't Colorado's Craig Anderson who was celebrating afterward but the Wild's Josh Harding, Minnesota's backup who battled through a sore hip to record his first shutout of the season.

Martin Havlat's goal with 4:49 left sent the Wild to a 1-0 win over Colorado on Thursday night, denying Anderson another shutout and handing the Avalanche their first loss since Jan. 8 at Carolina.

Anderson, going for his third shutout in four games, slid to his right in anticipation of a shot from Kyle Brodziak, who instead backhanded the puck back to Havlat. The Wild forward was sandwiched between two Colorado defenders and slid the puck into the open net.

"We were probably fortunate on the bounce," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said. "In this game, that's what we needed."

Anderson's shutout streak ended at 126 minutes, 24 seconds, and Colorado's winning streak was snapped at six.

With Niklas Backstrom sidelined by a bad back, Harding gutted out a sore hip. At one point midway through the third period, the Wild feared that emergency goalie Wade Dubielewicz, who had arrived from the minors 20 minutes before the puck dropped, might have to go in.

"I was concerned at that point in watching him try to get up," Richards said. "He looked like he was hurting and in a lot of pain. The referee went over and talked to him and he gave him the OK. Luckily for us he was able to finish the game."

Anderson, who finished with 25 saves, was pulled with 2:29 left when the Avs had a power play, but Harding had two of his 29 saves during the six-on-four disadvantage to seal Minnesota's fifth win in six games against the Avalanche this season.

Anderson had allowed only one goal in 304 minutes, 25 seconds before Havlat scored.

"Both goalies played really well tonight, it just came down to a bounce," Avs center Matt Duchene said. "Havlat made a good play there, but they also got some luck on that. The puck just kept coming back to them and they were able to go and jam it in."

Colorado coach Joe Sacco said poor defense had as much to do with the goal as anything.

"There was five minutes to go in the game there, we can't allow that goal at that particular time," Sacco said. "It's not an odd-man rush or anything like that. We had bodies back. We just have to do a better job of not allowing him to score at that moment. We have to be harder in those areas."

Sacco complained that Harding also had too good a view of way too many shots.

"We've got to make it more difficult on him. We've got to put people in front of him to make it easier on ourselves," Sacco said. "And we don't get a power play until the third period. Not to use that as an excuse, but we don't really generate much until the third period."

Neither did the Wild, who failed to score on five power plays before Havlat's goal.

"We didn't get frustrated on the ice or on the bench," Havlat said. "We kept battling until the last second."

Minnesota's first penalty was a holding call on Kim Johnsson at 5:16 of the third period.

Colorado had outscored opponents 15-2 during the first five games of a six-game homestand. The Avs were going for their best homestand of at least five games since moving to Denver. Their previous best was 5-0-1 in 2005.

Game notes

Harding's last shutout was Oct. 14, 2007, at Anaheim. ... Five of the six games between the teams were decided by a goal and the other, a 5-3 Minnesota win, featured an empty-net goal in the closing seconds.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press