Avalanche Hold Off Wild, 3-1


Nov 1, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and center Paul Stastny (26) and defenseman Jan Hejda (8) and center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrate the goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (not pictured) during the second period at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jan Hejda would get the Avalanche going early on in Friday’s match-up between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild. Hejda would score his third goal of the season 3-minutes and 45 seconds into the game, on a slap-shot from the blue line; he was assisted by Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog. Dany Heatley almost cashed in on a bad shift by the Avalanche as his backhand opportunity went through the legs of JS Giguere outside of the net.

Wild center Zach Parise would be called for slashing; 2:00 minor penalty. The Avalanche power-play was hounded by Minnesota as they only got two shots on net. Parise would come out of the box and nearly tie it but Jean-Sebastien Giguere would make a nice save.

Cody McLeod would check Jonas Brodin into the board and get a 5-minute major and a 10-minute game misconduct. That would send the Wild on the power-play for five minutes. They didn’t capitalize in the first period, but would have 2:24 remaining heading into the second period. The Avalanche would eventually kill off the power-play in the second period and would tally another goal. Nathan MacKinnon would get the tip in front of the net, scoring his fourth goal of the year. He was assisted by Erik Johnson and Gabe Landeskog giving the Avs the 2-0 lead.

Colorado and Minnesota would both commit penalties late in the second; as Minnesota’s Clayton Stoner was called for cross-checking, and Avalanche center John Mitchell was called for slashing. Both power-plays would be killed off.

Minnesota would answer as Heatley was found in front of the net scoring his sixth goal of the season, Nino Niederreiter and Erik Haula on the assists. Minnesota would cut the Avalanche lead to one at 2-1. MacKinnon and Niederreiter would both pick-up off-setting roughing minors with 29.8 left in the second leading to a 4-on-4.

Nate MacKinnon had a scoring opportunity in the third period as he shot one on net but was rode into Wild goaltender Josh Harding by the defender Jared Spurgeon. Landy would put the puck in the net but it was waved off due to contact with Harding. The Avalanche would hold on late to defeat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 after an empty-net goal from Landeskog.

Giguere would be the first goaltender in Avalanche franchise history to start a season 6-0-0. He was great for the Avalanche as he stopped 27/28 shots for a .964% save percentage. These two teams are in the middle of a home-and-home, as the Avs will take on the Wild tomorrow night in Denver, puck-drop at 9:00pm eastern time/7:00pm mountain time.

Colorado Avalanche improve to (18-6-0) on the season, with 36 points.