7:30 p.m. vs. Colorado • Xcel Energy Center • NBCSN, 100.3-FM

Run vs. contenders starts with Avs

Preview: The game begins a difficult stretch in the Wild schedule. Six of the next seven Wild opponents are currently in playoff position. That includes two games with Nashville and one each against Boston and Las Vegas. … This is the fourth and final game between the two teams. The Wild won in a shootout Nov. 24, but lost two games in Colorado. The Avalanche has earned 14 of a possible 20 points in its past 10 games.

Players to watch: Slowing Colorado’s top line is the key. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, who play with Gabe Landeskog, combined for five goals and 17 points in two games in Colorado, but both were held without a point in the November Wild win.

Numbers: The Wild is 7-1-2 in its past 10 home games; Minnesota’s 54 home points are the most in the Western Conference. The Wild has won its past three home games against Colorado, dating to last season.

Injuries: Wild D Nick Seeler (flu, biceps) was back at practice Monday and is available for this game. Avalanche F Colin Wilson (concussion) and G Jonathan Bernier (head) are listed as day-to-day.

Kent Youngblood