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Gameday preview: Colorado at Wild

  • January 10, 2014 - 8:42 PM

wild gameday

7 p.m. VS. COLORADO • XCEL Center • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: After sweeping a two-game trip to Los Angeles and Phoenix, the Wild makes a brief pit stop at home to face the rival Avalanche before hitting the road again for a game in Nashville on Sunday. The Wild has followed a six-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak. The Wild and Avs are 1-1-1 this season. Colorado had won four of five before hosting the Islanders on Friday night.

Players to watch: Wild RW Justin Fontaine, scratched six times in a 12-game stretch from Nov. 29 to Dec. 22, registered the second Wild hat trick in five days and first in history by a rookie Thursday at Phoenix. LW Nino Niederreiter has seven points in the past six games. LW Matt Cooke has six assists in the past seven games. Before Friday’s games, Avs C Matt Duchene was tied for 23rd in the NHL with 38 points. Captain Gabriel Landeskog had 34 points. D Erik Johnson had 20 points and was plus-14.

Numbers: G Niklas Backstrom, who has won three in a row for the first time this season, is 24-5-3 vs. the Avalanche with a 2.22 goals-against average and .926 save percentage. … The Avs are seventh in the NHL at 2.91 goals per game; the Wild is ninth in the NHL at 2.41 goals per game allowed.

Injuries: Wild C Mikko Koivu (ankle), LW Zach Parise (foot), D Jared Spurgeon (foot) and G Josh Harding (illness) are out. Avs LW Alex Tanguay (knee/hip) and RW P.A. Parenteau (knee) are out. D Nate Guenin (ankle) and LW Ryan O’Reilly (shoulder) are questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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