DENVER —Mats Zuccarello had three assists for Minnesota, but the Wild was outscored 3-0 in the third period and lost 6-4 to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in a preseason game at Ball Arena.
Former Gopher and Bloomington native Erik Johnson had two goals for Colorado. He scored an empty-net goal with 1:06 remaining in the third period to seal the victory.
Zuccarello assisted on the first three Minnesota goals, by Ryan Hartman, Kevin Fiala and Adam Beckman, as the Wild took a 3-2 lead midway through the second period. But Colorado's Sampo Ranta, another former Gopher, tied the score at 15:25 of the second.
Mason Shaw, who spent the past three seasons with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League, gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead at 17:13 of the second, but Colorado's Oskar Olausson tied the score 4-4 at 8:21 of the third when he fired a shot past Wild goalie Andrew Hammond, and Samuel Girard gave the Avs a 5-4 lead at 16:45 of the third period.
Hartman tipped the puck into the net in the final minutes, but the goal was waved off because he had played it with a high stick.
Hammond and Cam Talbot shared goaltending duties for the Wild. Talbot started and stopped 22 of 24 shots he faced. Hammond stopped five of eight.
Both teams subbed out their goalies after Beckman's goal, with Justus Annunen taking over for starter and former Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper in the Colorado net.
Star forward Kirill Kaprizov did not play for the Wild, who play the Avs again on Monday night in their preseason home opener at Xcel Energy Center.