Avalanche Vs. Wild: Minnesota Bests The Avalanche 3-2 At The Pepsi Center

The Avalanche fell 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

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15 Total Updates since January 16, 2012
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Avalanche Vs. Wild Final Score: Minnesota Tops Colorado 3-2

The Colorado Avalanche will head into the All-Star break on a sour note after falling to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center. Colorado crawled back into the game with a second period goal to knot things up at two goals a piece, but a Minnesota score halfway through the third was too much for the Avs to overcome.

The decisive third period goal was scored by Minnesota winger Carson McMillan. McMillan beat Colorado net minder Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his first goal of the season off an assist from Kyle Brodziak.

Minnesota out-shot Colorado 34-26 on the evening, and margin was much wider than that through the majority of the night. Colorado held an edge in faceoffs (32-31) and the Wild held an advantage in hits (27-26).

The loss drops Colorado to 26-22-2 with 54 points. Minnesota improves to 23-18-7 with 53 points.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog at Mile High Hockey and our Wild blog at Hockey Wilderness.

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Avalanche Vs. Wild Score Update: Score Tied At Two After Two Periods

The Minnesota Wild are mostly dominating the action against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center, but the Avs were able to tie the score at two in the second period.

Chuck Kobasew scored his seventh goal of the season off assists from Daniel Winnik and Jay McClement to tie the game two. That was all the scoring the second, as the game continued to be characterized by penalties. Colorado's Winnik drew seven minutes in penalties in the period. Winnik earned two minutes when he slashed Minnesota's Justin Falk. The incident led to a fight -- with both players drawing five minute majors. Colorado's Shane O'Brien also drew two minutes for hooking on the Wild's Clayton Stoner late in the period.

Minnesota has out-shot Colorado 22-11 through two periods. Colorado holds an edge in hits (20-18) while the Wild have an advantage in faceoff wins (23-17).

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog at Mile High Hockey and our Wild blog at Hockey Wilderness.

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Avalanche Vs. Wild Score Update: Minnesota Leads 2-1 After First Period

The Minnesota Wild have lost four of their last five games, but the team exited the first period of their Tuesday night matchup with the Colorado Avalanche with a 2-1 lead. Colorado was thoroughly out-played in the opening period, getting out-shot 13-4, out-hit 14-8, dominated on faceoffs 13-5.

The Avalanche's T.J. Galiardi got Colorado on the scoreboard first when he beat Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom for his eighth goal of the season. Milan Hejduk and Gabriel Landeskog were each credited with assists.

Minnesota would tie the game when Justin Falk scored on a power play off assists from Devin Setoguchi and Matt Cullen. The score was Falk's first goal of the year.

With just over three minutes remaining in the period, Wild forward Dany Heatley made it 2-1 with his 15th goal of the season off assists from Kyle Brodziak and Greg Zanon.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog at Mile High Hockey and our Wild blog at Hockey Wilderness.

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Avalanche Vs. Wild: Colorado Faces Minnesota Before All-Star Break

With only one game remaining before the All-Star Break, the Colorado Avalanche find themselves facing a familiar foe; the Minnesota Wild. After leading the Northwest Division for the first two months of the season, the Wild suffered through a poor December stretch that brought them back to fighting for a playoff spot. January hasn't been much better for Minnesota, as their 2-5-1 record this month has them currently out of the postseason.

The Wild offense has struggled to score during this stretch. Their 112 goals ranks 28 in the league, and Dany Heatley is the only Minnesota player to tally more than two goals in the past 10 games. Devin Setoguchi was acquired from San Jose this offseason to give a boost to the club; his 17 points this season is a far cry from his production in a Sharks uniform.

Entering Tuesday's game, the Wild and Avalanche are separated by a mere point in the standings. A Colorado win would give them a three point buffer over their divisional foe entering the week-long break. A loss to the Wild would flip the two teams and place Minnesota back into that 8th seed in the Western Conference entering the break. Colorado has a very poor 2-9 record against Northwest division opponents this season. If they have any hope for a playoff berth, that number has to quickly turn around.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get his third straight start in net for Colorado, according to the Denver Post.

Puck drops at 7:00 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog at Mile High Hockey and our Wild blog at Hockey Wilderness.

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Avalanche Vs. Ducks Final Score: Anaheim Holds On For 3-2 Victory

The Colorado Avalanche fell behind Anaheim 3-0 in the third period before a late rally eventually fell short, and the Ducks won 3-2.

Ryan Getzlaf gave Anaheim a 2-0 lead on a power play goal less than 30 seconds into the third, and Bobby Ryan extended the margin to 3-0 on a goal about three and a half minutes later.

The Avalanche, who had out-shot the Ducks by a wide margin throughout the first two periods, did so again in the third but weren't able to get on the scoreboard until Ryan O'Reilly's goal with 5:09 remaining in regulation. Milan Hejduk scoerd the team's second goal, which gave them three minutes and 32 seconds to pull even and force overtime, but Anaheim managed to fight them off and hang on for a narrow victory.

For the game, Colorado out-shot Anaheim 45-18.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Ducks blog Anaheim Calling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Ducks Score Update: Anaheim Leads 1-0 Heading Into 3rd Period

The Colorado Avalanche out-shot Anaheim 15-2 in the first period and 13-8 in the second but have nothing to show for it; the Ducks, despite their overall lack of pressure, have had the luck on their side so far, as their lone goal -- one of those two first-period shots -- came while shorthanded.

More: Avalanche at Ducks, Game 50 Preview

That goal was scored by Bobby Ryan at 2:49; it was his 18th tally of the season.

The Avalanche also have the edge in the faceoff circle, where they are 18-31 so far. Anaheim has out-hit Colorado 34-23, however.

A win Sunday night would be the fifth in a row for the surging Ducks, who are trying to work their way out of the Pacific division cellar.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Ducks blog Anaheim Calling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Ducks Score Update: Ducks Lead 1-0 After First Period

In its matchup against arguably the hottest team in the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche dominated puck possession throughout the entire first period, yet they trail 1-0 against the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks entered this game having won seven of their last eight, with their last defeat being an overtime setback against the Calgary Flames.

Although it attempted 15 shots on goal in the opening period, Colorado failed to take advantage of two Power Play opportunities. The Avalanche repeatedly tested Anaheim goaltender Jonas Hiller, but were unable to sneak the puck past him.

Despite having only two shots on goal in the opening period, the Ducks were able to find a way to beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who solidified himself as a starting goaltender in the NHL during his time in Anaheim. Bobby Ryan scored the lone tally of the first period, scoring a shorthanded goal for the Ducks.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Ducks blog Anaheim Calling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Ducks: Colorado Faces Tough Challenge Against Streaking Anaheim

The Colorado Avalanche are doing their part to make sure this season turns into a success. Peter Mueller's healthy return has given the club a much needed boost on the ice, and that success has translated into success in the standings. After soundly defeating the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night, Colorado hops on a bus north to face the Anaheim Ducks, their second game in two nights.

The Ducks have undergone a nightmare first half of the season. Long-tenured coach Randy Carlyle was fired after 24 games, goalie Jonas Hiller was inconsistent, and star players Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan simply weren't producing at their expected levels. The month of January has turned all of that around, as the Ducks have morphed into one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL, with a 7-0-1 record in their past eight games.

What has been the catalyst for this dramatically improved play? Start with the players at the top, as the Ducks' offense has gone absolutely nuclear this month. Corey Perry has eight goals in the past 10 games, Bobby Ryan has five goals in that span, and Saku Koive leads the entire team with 11 points over the past 10 games. In all, 11 Ducks have five or more points in the past 10 games. As a team, they have scored four or more goals in six of their past games.

This will be a very tough challenge for Colorado. Though the addition of Mueller to the lineup has certainly helped of late, the Avalanche still don't have the top end forward talent to consistently survive high scoring games. A repeat of the strong defensive effort displayed against the Kings will be tantamount, as well as a strong goaltending effort from Semyon Varlamov, who is likely to get the start.

Puck drops at 6:00 p.m. MDT

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Ducks blog Anaheim Calling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Kings Final Score: Mueller, Stastny Lead Colorado To Dominant 3-1 Victory

After years of struggling against the Los Angeles Kings, it appears the Colorado Avalanche finally have their number. Colorado rode another excellent defensive effort, solid goaltending by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and another great night from Paul Stastny and Peter Mueller to a 3-1 victory over the Kings, improving their season record to 3-0 over Los Angeles.

The Kings started the scoring early in the second period, as Anze Kopitar easily put a juicy rebound past Giguere for a 1-0 lead. But just minutes later, Stefan Elliott made an incredible pass across the center of the ice (catching the Kings on an ill-advised line change) and hitting forward Cody McLeod on a breakaway. McLeod deflected the puck betweem Jonathan Quick's pads just before he crashed into the net. Tie game. Later in the period, T.J. Galiardi fired a shot from the point that was deflected out of mid air by Mueller and between Quick's pads for Colorado's first lead of the game. It was Mueller's third goal in two games -- and his third goal of the season.

Colorado would put the game away with a power play goal in the third period. Gabriel Landeskog made a great hustle play on the blue line to keep the puck in the zone, found Stastny across the ice, and Stastny made a great pass back to Landeskog right in front of the net.

Colorado maintains their 8th place position in the West, but now sit only two points behind Los Angeles for the 7th seed. The Avalanche finish off this brief road swing with a bus ride north to face the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.

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Avalanche Vs. Kings: Colorado Begins Two Game West Coast Swing Before Break

The Colorado Avalanche overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period en route to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers earlier this week thanks to Peter Mueller's three point night (including his first two goals of the season).

Why is this important? Take a look at the Western Conference standings.


Western Standings

GP W-L-OT Pts
Chicago Blackhawks 48 29-13-6 64
Vancouver Canucks 47 28-15-4 60
San Jose Sharks 44 26-13-5 57
Detroit Red Wings 47 31-15-1 63
St. Louis Blues 46 28-12-6 62
Nashville Predators 47 27-16-4 58
Los Angeles Kings 48 23-15-10 56
Colorado Avalanche 48 25-21-2 52
Minnesota Wild 47 22-18-7 51
Dallas Stars 46 24-20-2 50
Calgary Flames 48 22-20-6 50
Phoenix Coyotes 48 21-19-8 50
Anaheim Ducks 45 16-22-7 39
Edmonton Oilers 46 17-25-4 38
Columbus Blue Jackets 46 13-28-5 31

The entire conference has begun breaking into tiers. The top seven teams -- including the Avalanche's Saturday night opponent, the Los Angeles Kings -- have begun pulling away from the remainder of the pack and are likely heading towards the playoffs. Colorado currently sits in 8th place within the conference and would make the playoffs if the season ended today.

But sitting immediately behind Colorado are four teams that lurk within two points of overtaking that last playoff spot. At this point of the season, getting points via any method possible to keep a stranglehold on that last seed is important.

With that mindset, the Avalanche head into the weekend on their last swing of the season to Southern California. The Los Angeles Kings have been very good of late, entering this game riding a six game points streak (3-0-3). They have gained points in eight of nine January games, and are only a single point behind San Jose for the Pacific Division lead. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been dominant, sporting a .948 SV% his past nine games and carrying the league's worst offensive club back into playoff position.

Colorado has not played well the past week, but they have endured losses to Jan Hejda and Shane O'Brien; both should be available to play this weekend. Two more games until the All-Star break. If Colorado can get points in both, they can enter the midseason vacation with a sigh of relief.

Puck drops at 8:30 p.m. MDT.

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Kings blog Jewels Of The Crown.

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Avalanche Vs. Panthers Final Score: Colorado Prevails In Overtime

The Colorado Avalanche have tumbled down the Western Conference standings over the last two weeks, but on Wednesday at the Pepsi Center, the Avs stopped by the bleeding with a huge come-from-behind victory over the Florida Panthers. Forward Ryan O'Reilly scored his 13th goal of the year with one minute remaining before a shootout to give Colorado a much needed win. The goal was assisted by Ryan Wilson and Paul Stastny.

Colorado found itself down 3-1 just :20 seconds into the third period when Tom Kopecky beat Avs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere for his sixth goal of the season. It wouldn't take long of the Avs to answer back, though. Peter Mueller scored his second goal of the night (also his second goal of the year) on a power play off assists from O'Reilly and Milan Hejduk. With three minutes left in the contest, Paul Stastny tied things up with his 13th goal of the season.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on this game, visit Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and Coyotes blog Five for Howling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Panthers Score Update: Colorado Trails 2-1 After Two Periods

The Colorado Avalanche are struggling right now. Losers of four of their last five games, the Avs need a win in the worst way tonight against the visiting Florida Panthers. After two periods, Colorado trails the Panthers 2-1 at the Pepsi Center.

Florida got the scoring started in the first period when Marcel Goc scored a power play goal with five minutes remaining in the opening frame. Goc's fifth score of the season was assisted by Michal Repik and Dmitry Kulikov.

Colorado would tie the score at 1-1 when Peter Mueller scored his first goal of the season off a pass from defenseman Erik Johnson. The tie score would be short-lived. Florida would retake the lead with just 1:12 left in the second when Stephen Weiss scored his 12th goal of the season. Brian Campbell and Kulikov were each credited with assists.

The Avalanche have out-shot Florida 25-19 thus far.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on this game, visit Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and Coyotes blog Five for Howling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Panthers: Colorado Returns Home As Both Teams Fight For Postseason Berths

The Colorado Avalanche have struggled through a very unsteady month of January, having lost four of their past five games. They head back to Pepsi Center for only their second home game of the year as they take on the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers hold a tenuous one point lead in the Southeast Division over the Washington Capitals, and are in the midst of their own January struggles; they have a 1-2-2 record this month. Their early season success has slowed to a crawl as their offense has dried up. Kris Versteeg still leads the team in goals, but only has one in their past 10 games. Former Avalanche Tomas Fleischmann, who signed this offseason with Florida as a free agent, has enjoyed a stellar season with 15 goals, but has also struggled lately with a -13 plus/minus rating their past 10 games.

In net, Jose Theodore is expected to return from a knee injury that kept him out the past five games. Theodore has had a renaissance season in Florida, with a 2.43 GAA, his lowest mark since 2004 when he played for Montreal.

For Colorado, Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start for Colorado after Semyon Varlamov was rocked against Phoenix earlier this week. Giguere has been the model of consistency for the Avalanche with a miniscule 2.07 GAA this season (though he has allowed three or more goals in three of his past five starts).

Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. MDT

For more coverage, visit our Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and our Panthers blog Litter Box Cats.

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Avalanche Vs. Coyotes Final Score: Colorado Loses 6-1 In Phoenix

The Phoenix Coyotes scored two goals in each period on Monday afternoon, and while Colorado out-shot them, the Avalanche were not able to keep up on the scoreboard and lost 6-1. Chuck Kobasew scored Colorado's lone goal, which tied the game at one midway through the first period.


Related: Avalanche at Coytoes, Game 47 Preview

Shane Doan reclaimed the lead for the Coyotes late in the first, then he and Boyd Gordon scored in the second period to give Phoenix a comfortable 4-1 lead heading into the final 20 minutes. Phoenix didn't need the insurance, but Boyd added another goal in the third and Rostislav Klesla capped off the scoring.

The Avs return to action on Wednesday night when they host the Florida Panthers.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more on this game, visit Avalanche blog Mile High Hockey and Coyotes blog Five for Howling. For news and notes from around the NHL, visit SB Nation's NHL news hub.

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Avalanche Vs. Coyotes: Colorado Look To Take Lead In Season-Series With Phoenix

The Colorado Avalanche play the Phoenix Coyotes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

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