DENVER (AP) – Greg Mauldin scored two goals to fuel Colorado’s four-goal burst in the second period, and the Avalanche had a season-high goals total to beat the Minnesota Wild 7-4 on Saturday night and snap a three-game losing streak.
However, the game did take a toll on the health of the Avalanche, who saw Chris Stewart, John Michael-Liles and Daniel Winnick all sustain injuries.
Winnick left in the first period after being struck in the right leg by a puck. He left the ice under his own power but was limping noticeably. Stewart apparently sustained a hand injury after fighting late in the second period with Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak, and Michael-Liles was dazed after sliding into the post and hitting his head midway through the second. Michael-Liles was the only one of the three to return to the game.
Trailing 2-1 entering the second, the Avalanche tied it on Mauldin’s first goal of the night 2:45 into the period. They surged in front with a three-goal flurry over a 2:11 stretch, including Mauldin’s second goal at 7:50 of the second, in which he collected a rebound off the post and knocked it past goalie Niklas Backstrom.
The Avs regained the lead on Milan Hejduk’s power play score at 7:18 of the second. They pulled away to a three-goal advantage 1:21 later when Kevin Shattenkirk gathered in a loose puck along the boards near center ice and skated just inside blue line before firing a slap shot that beat Backstrom. Shattenkirk extended his points streak to six games, the longest by a rookie defensemen this season.
Backstrom was replaced by Jose Theodore after Matt Duchene scored the Avalanche’s seventh goal of the night at 6:49 of the third.
Colorado scored 1:01 into the game, its quickest goal to start a game this season, when Paul Stastny put in a rebound off a shot by Shattenkirk.
But the Wild answered later in the first with a pair of goals to go in front. Antti Miettinen tied it up with at 14:19 of the first with his sixth goal of the season, and on the power play, Matt Cullen beat Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj with a slap shot from just inside the blue line.
David Jones added a goal for the Avalanche at 5:03 of third to offset Brodziak’s goal for the Wild at 14:22 of the second. Broadziak scored his second of the night at 13:58 of the third.
NOTES: Minnesota won five of the six meetings with Colorado last season, including two in shootouts. … The Avs’ previous season high for goals in a game was six, which they achieved twice against Calgary on Oct. 28 and St. Louis on Nov. 15. … The four goals in the second were the most the Wild have given up in a period this season. … The last time Minnesota allowed seven goals in a game was at Phoenix on April 12, 2002.
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