Apr 27, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) battles for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) during the third period at the Pepsi Center. The Wild won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Game 53: Minnesota Wild (29-20-6) vs. Colorado Avalanche (33-14-5)


The Colorado Avalanche (33-14-5, 71 points) are coming off of an entertaining win on Monday night as they defeated the Dallas Stars, 4-3 in Dallas. Colorado took a quick 2-0 lead on goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn. Dallas would strike back as Tyler Seguin scored two goals in the second as it got interesting. Veteran Alex Tanguay is already making his presence known after coming back from a knee/hip injury as he scored the game-winner to push the Avs to a 4-3 victory.

What: Regular Season: Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche
When: Thursday, January 30th
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Time: 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT.
TV: Altitude Sports

This is the fifth and final meeting between the two teams this season as the Avalanche have the upper-hand winning three out of the four. In the last meeting on January 11th, the Avs defeated the Wild in St. Paul, 4-2. Ryan O’Reilly started to go on a hot-streak as the forward would notch a second period goal along with one in the third for his 15th and 16th goals of the season. Defenseman Andre Benoit had a solid game for the Avs as he picked up two assists on the night to go along with 2 blocked shots. A player to watch out for on the Wild is Charlie Coyle. In that very game on January 11th, Coyle would score two goals as well collecting number 5 and 6 on the season.

The Wild are coming off of an impressive win on the road against one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They defeated the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center by the final score of 4-2, handing the Ducks their second home regulation loss of the season. Winger Zach Parise was stellar as he collected a goal and two assists and teammate Jason Pominville would score and add a helper. Darcy Kuemper was a force in the net for the Wild as he stopped 31-of-33 shots for a save percentage of .939%.

Colorado Avalanche forward P.A. Parenteau will be another healthy scratch Thursday night. The forward was a heathy scratch in Colorado’s last game as trade rumors swirl around. Rumors are the Avs and Habs are working on a six-player deal to sent the forward to Montreal, but that is just speculation at this point.

 

Projected Starting Goaltenders:

Minnesota Wild: Darcy Kuemper: 5-3-1, 2.99 GAA, .922% save percentage.
Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov: 26-9-5, 2.43 GAA, .925% save percentage.

Central Division Standings:

1:) Chicago Blackhawks: 33-10-13, 79 points in 56 games played.
2:) St. Louis Blues: 36-11-5, 77 points in 52 games played.
3:) Colorado Avalanche: 33-14-5, 71 points in 52 games played.
4:) Minnesota Wild: 29-20-6, 64 points in 55 games played.
5:) Dallas Stars: 24-21-8, 56 points in 53 games played.
6:) Nashville Predators: 24-23-8, 56 points in 55 games.
7:) Winnipeg Jets: 25-25-5, 55 points in 55 games.

Team Leaders:

Points:

Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu, 35.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 44.

Goals:

Minnesota Wild: Jason Pominville, 20.
Colorado Avalanche: Ryan O’Reilly, 19.

Assists:

Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu, 27.
Colorado Avalanche: Matt Duchene, 27.

Plus/Minus:

Minnesota Wild: Nino Niederreiter, 10.
Colorado Avalanche: Jan Hejda, 10.

Goals Against Average:

Minnesota Wild: Josh Harding, 1.66
Colorado Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov, 2.43

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Colorado Avalanche