Gameday preview: Wild at Colorado

  • Updated: April 26, 2013 - 11:52 PM

wild gameday

6:30 P.M. AT COLORADO • PEPSI CENTER • fsn, 100.3-FM

Preview: This is each team’s final game in this truncated 48-games-in-99-days season. The Wild, 3-0-1 against the Avalanche this year, is 4-0-1 in its past five at Colorado and 11-2-2 in its past 15 there. A victory would not only clinch a playoff spot but also give the Wild, 11-11-1 away from St. Paul, a winning road record for the fourth time in team history.

Players to watch: This may be RW Milan Hejduk’s final game in the NHL. Hejduk has 22 goals and 50 points in 67 games against the Wild. He ranks first all-time vs. the Wild with 13 power-play goals, second in goals and games played and fourth in points. Wild C Mikko Koivu has 36 points in 45 games against the Avs. G Niklas Backstrom is 23-5-3 all-time vs. Colorado with a 2.26 goals against average and 10-2-1 in Denver. If Josh Harding starts, it will be his first since being pulled 6:45 into a home game against Chicago on Jan. 30.

Numbers: Hejduk ranks second in Quebec/Colorado history with 1,019 games, fourth with 375 goals, fourth with 805 points, third with 140 power-play goals and second with 59 winning goals. … The Wild has the NHL’s third-best road power play at 23.1 percent but 23rd on road penalty kill (76.6 percent).

Injuries: Wild RW Jason Pominville (upper body) is questionable. RW Dany Heatley (shoulder surgery) is out. Avalanche RW Steve Downie (knee) and D Ryan Wilson (ankle) are out and D Erik Johnson (hand) is questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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