Gameday preview: Colorado vs. Wild

  • Updated: March 14, 2013 - 12:16 AM

wild gameday

7 P.M. VS. Colorado • XCEL Center • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild is 9-3-1 at home, but its six-game home point streak ended with Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Anaheim. The Wild beat the Avalanche in the season opener at home but lost in a shootout against Colorado last month. This is the first of a home and home that ends Saturday afternoon in Denver. The Avs’ two-game winning streak, which included handing Chicago its first regulation loss of the season last Friday, ended with a 4-0 loss to Edmonton on Tuesday.

Players to watch: RW Milan Hejduk of the Avs will return after missing five games because of a stiff neck. He has scored 22 goals and 50 points in 66 games against the Wild. He is first all-time with 13 power-play goals, second in goals and fourth in points. The Avs are led by young stars Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly. … Since Feb. 9, Wild RW Devin Setoguchi has scored six goals and 10 points in 15 games. C Matt Cullen has 14 points in the past 19 games. C Mikko Koivu has 34 points in 43 career games vs. Colorado, including points in the past four meetings. G Niklas Backstrom is 12-3-2 with a 2.34 goals-against average against Colorado at home and is 21-5-3 overall with a 2.18 goals-against average.

Numbers: The Wild ranks seventh in goals against (2.4 a game) and shots against (27.1); the Avs rank 21st in goals against (2.88) and 27th in shots against (32.2). … The Wild has scored first in five consecutive games (it’s 8-4 this season when it does) and has a power-play goal in seven of the past eight games.

Injuries: Wild LW Jason Zucker (upper body) is questionable. G Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis) is out. Avalanche RW Steve Downie (knee) is out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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