Carl Soderberg scored twice Saturday night for the Colorado Avalanche, who remained red-hot with a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center in Denver.
Gabriel Bourque, Patrik Nemeth, Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Jost scored a goal apiece for the Avalanche, who matched their season-high scoring total. Colorado (22-16-3) has won five straight to move into a tie with the Wild and the Anaheim Ducks for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier made 34 saves.
Eric Staal scored both goals for the Wild, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Goalie Devan Dubnyk saved 26 of the 32 shots he faced before being pulled in the third period. Alex Stalock made five saves in relief, yielding one goal.
The Avalanche took the lead 7:38 into the first, when Bourque took a pass from Colin Wilson at the left faceoff circle and fired the puck past Dubnyk.
Nemeth doubled the lead following a chaotic sequence with 1:54 remaining in the opening period. MacKinnon corralled a loose puck following a shot by Rantanen and dished to Nemeth, whose shot pinged off the right post and into the net.
The Wild (22-17-3) cut the gap in half with 33 seconds left in the first. Staal rebounded a shot by Jonas Brodin and fired the put-back between MacKinnon and defenseman Erik Johnson.
The Avalanche extended its lead to 3-1 on a power play goal 8:03 into the second. Alexander Kerfoot’s pass from just behind the net went through the legs of Minnesota defenseman Matt Dumba and to Soderberg, who beat Dubnyk from point-blank range.
Rantanen capped a flurry in front of the net with 3:41 remaining in the second. After MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog combined for three shots on Dubnyk, Rantanen pounced on a loose puck and tucked it into the left corner of the net.
Staal scored another last-minute goal with 38 seconds left in the period, but Soderberg and MacKinnon ended any hopes of a Wild comeback by scoring 2:04 apart in the third. Jost provided the final goal with 2:14 left.
--Field Level Media