Preview: The Wild, clinging to eighth place in the Western Conference, is one point ahead of Colorado and Dallas, its next two opponents. The Avalanche has lost two in a row: 3-2 to the Wild in Denver before the All-Star break and 3-2 at Edmonton on Tuesday.
Players to watch: Wild RW Dany Heatley is coming off his 60th career two-goal game. He has four goals and seven points his past three games. G Niklas Backstrom is 8-2-1 in 11 career games at Colorado, with a .934 save percentage and a 2.12 goals-against average. In his past seven games in Denver, he is 5-1-1 with a .948 save percentage, a 1.75 GAA and two shutouts. Colorado C Paul Stastny has five points in his past five games, LW Gabriel Landeskog has five points in four games, and C and Bloomington native Peter Mueller has five points in his past five games. G Jean-Sebastien Giguere is 0-2 vs. the Wild this season; G Semyon Varlamov is 1-0.
Numbers: The Wild has four power-play goals in the past six games. Minnesota leads the season series with the Avalanche 2-1.
Injuries: Wild LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), RW Jarod Palmer (concussion), RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) and C Mikko Koivu (shoulder) are out. Colorado C/LW Mark Olver (head) and C/LW Matt Duchene (knee) are on injured reserve.