Scorching first period carries Wild past Avalanche

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 17, 2013 - 5:55 PM

Four first-period goals helped Minnesota to a home-and-home sweep of Colorado.

view larger photos

  

 

– It’s taken 27 games, but the Wild has become the offensive juggernaut fans expected.

Or, the Wild simply exposed everybody to how frail the Colorado Avalanche is defensively.

It’s probably a little bit of both, but the Wild pulled off a home-and-home sweep with the Western Conference cellar dwellers Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Center with a 6-4 victory.

The Wild scored 11 goals in consecutive meetings with the Avs — 10 at even-strength, with all four lines contributing on the score sheet.

Minnesota is in first place in the Northwest Division heading into Monday's game at second-place Vancouver.

“In the playoffs, that’s what you need to win these important games,” said Devin Setoguchi, who continued his torrid play with two goals, an assist and a career-high plus-4. “Every line, when they’re ready to go, it’s tough to lose.”

Setoguchi’s linemates, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen, were each plus-2. Bouchard is slowly escaping the doghouse. he had the winning goal and one assist for his first multi-point game of the season and second consecutive solid retort to three scratches in a row.

“I just want to get back to where I was before,” said Bouchard, whose second-period goal — his first since Jan. 29 — calmed the waters after the Avalanche trimmed the Wild’s lead to 4-3. “Am I there yet? I don’t think so. I don’t think in two games you can gain 100 percent of your confidence back. It’s a process, but I think I’m on the right track.”

Coach Mike Yeo said he’s glad Bouchard is “making a statement.”

Ryan Suter tries to make one every night and continued his impressive play with a power-play goal and assist. The defenseman now leads the Wild with 23 points. Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak each scored goals and linemate Dany Heatley had two assists as the Wild improved to 11-2-2 in its past 15 in the Mile High City.

“The way every line’s playing, they’ve kind of found an individual way to play to be successful,” Clutterbuck said. “It’s fun hockey to play when you can roll through.”

It was the seventh consecutive start for Niklas Backstrom, 11th in 12 games and 21st this season out of 27. Whether the 35-year-old was tired or out of his normal gameday routine with the afternoon start, he was fighting the puck for two periods before settling down.

Backstrom made 28 saves to improve to 23-5-3 career against the Avalanche (10-2-1 in Denver).

Yeo felt Backstrom made “huge saves” but is aware how often Backstrom is playing and says it’s something the coaches “will stay on top of.”

The Wild lit up and chased Jean-Sebastien Giguere by scoring four goals in the first. This was the same Giguere who surrendered one goal to the Wild in four games for Anaheim during the 2003 Western Conference Finals.

The Wild struck first for the seventh consecutive game. This is the same Wild that during one stretch this season went eight consecutive games without a first-period goal.

Looking to avenge Thursday’s loss, the Avalanche came out crabby. There were two fights in the first 4:20 (Mike Rupp sustained a lower-body injury in one).

  • related content

  • Postgame: Yeo calls Wild's win 'complete, total team effort'

    Saturday March 16, 2013

    Devin Setoguchi scored two goals and an assist and was a career-high plus-4. He now has nine goals and 15 points in 17 games since Feb. 9.

  • Wild-Colorado game recap

    Saturday March 16, 2013

    GAME RECAPSTAR TRIBUNE’S THREE STARS1. Devin Setoguchi, Wild: Two goals, one assist gives him 15 points in the past 17...

  • Wild notes: Sometimes, only a sucker throws a punch

    Saturday March 16, 2013

    Tuesday’s lack of response by Wild players to rookie Jason Zucker being on the receiving end of a head shot from Anaheim’s Corey Perry has received criticism from fans.

  • Wild teammates surrounded Pierre-Marc Bouchard (96), whose second-period goal proved to be the game-winner.

  • WILD 6, COLORADO 4

    Up next: at Vancouver • 9 p.m. Monday • TV: FSN Plus (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
NC A&T 57 FINAL
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
UCLA 71 FINAL
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
NJIT 62 FINAL
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
ULM 42 FINAL
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
LSU 78 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 45
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close