Colorado Avalanche star forward Chris Stewart returned to the lineup, and the vaunted Avalanche offense made an appearance as well as Colorado easily defeated Minnesota 4-1.
The Minnesota Wild, playing with backup goalie Anton Khudobin (making his first start of the season due to injury), outshot the Avalanche 33-18 but Craig Anderson was spectacular in his first action after sitting on the bench the previous two games.
Avalanche forward Kevin Porter put Colorado on the scoreboard just nine minutes into the game with a quick wrist shot that beat Khudobin top shelf. Milan Hejduk made it a two-goal advantage just minutes later with a perfect power play goal in the top corner. It was the first Colorado power play goal in their previous 14 tries.
There was a scary moment at the beginning of the second period, as Ryan O’Reilly slammed into the boards headfirst and lay motionless on the ice for several minutes. He left the game in a stretcher and did not return.
Wild forward (and former Avalanche) Andrew Brunette put Minnesota on the scoreboard early in the third period, but Craig Anderson slammed the door. Anderson stopped 32 of 33 saves for his victory since December 30.
Tomas Fleishmann scored a goal in the second period. Ryan Wilson added an empty net goal in the final minute to make the final score 4-1.
Colorado is now 23-2-4 when they score three or more goals.