December 28, 2019 / 4:07 AM / a month ago

Late surge lifts Wild over Avalanche

EditorsNote: 9th graf, change ‘to’ to ‘two’

Dec 27, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Fans hold up signs before the game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Rask scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Suter also scored in the third, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 on Friday night in Denver.

Carson Soucy, Eric Staal and Brad Hunt also had goals, Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala each had two assists, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 40 shots for the Wild.

Matt Calvert had two goals, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog also scored, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare had two assists for Colorado. Pavel Francouz made 27 saves.

The Avalanche broke a 3-3 tie just 1:33 into the third period when Calvert deflected a shot by Bellemare past Dubnyk, his second deflected goal of the night and 10th tally of the season.

Zuccarello tied it at 10:41 when he picked up Jonas Brodin’s rebound and beat Francouz for his 10th of the season. Just 1:17 later, Rask beat Francouz to give the Wild the lead.

Francouz came off for an extra skater with about 1:54 left, but Suter scored an insurance goal, his fifth, into the empty net with 1:12 left.

Soucy’s fifth goal of the season at 5:33 of the first period gave Minnesota the early lead, and Staal stuffed in a rebound at 9:22, his 15th, to make it 2-0.

Colorado didn’t cash in on its first power-play chance of the game but did score soon after when Ian Cole’s shot from the left circle was tipped past Dubnyk by Calvert at 18:24 of the first.

Just 46 seconds later, Landeskog picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated through two Minnesota defenders, stickhandled away from Dubnyk’s paddle and put a backhander by the goaltender with 50 seconds remaining.

The Wild got the lead back midway through the second when Hunt scored on the power play, a goal that came less than three minutes after Minnesota had one waved off on a challenge for offsides.

Colorado got even again in the final minute of the middle period when Cale Makar, who returned after missing eight games with an upper-body injury, sent a pass to MacKinnon in front that deflected off MacKinnon’s skate and past Dubnyk. The goal was MacKinnon’s team-high 22nd.

—Field Level Media

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