Avs Can’t Recover From 4-Goal First Period
DENVER (AP) — Devin Setoguchi scored twice and added the 100th assist of his NHL career to help the Minnesota Wild hold off the slumping Colorado Avalanche 6-4 in a Saturday matinee.
Ryan Suter started a four-goal scoring spree in the first period to help the Wild win for the fourth time in five games. Cal Clutterbuck, Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard added goals.
This was the second half of a home-and-home between the two teams, with Minnesota winning 5-3 on Thursday night.
John Mitchell, P.A. Parenteau, Gabriel Landeskog and Chuck Kobasew had goals for an Avalanche team that has dropped three in a row. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was roughed up in his first home start of the season, allowing four goals on 14 shots before giving way to Semyon Varlamov at the start of the second period.
In all, the Wild had 11 players earn at least a point in this game, with Dany Heatley contributing two assists to give him 400 for his career.
Backstrom was solid in net, stopping 28 shots to move to 23-5-3 lifetime against the Avalanche.
Setoguchi all but wrapped up the win with his second goal midway through the third period when he slipped a shot through the pads of Varlamov. It was Setoguchi’s first two-goal game of the season.
Kobasew scored with 1:53 remaining to make it a two-goal game, and the Avalanche pulled Varlamov but couldn’t take advantage of the extra skater.
Colorado worked its way back into the contest in the second period with goals from Parenteau and Landeskog. But the Avalanche made a costly mistake in their zone, when Landeskog tried to send a pass across the middle. Bouchard intercepted the puck and backhanded a shot by Varlamov to make it 5-3.
The first period featured two fights, three roughing calls and two Wild goals before fans even had a chance to settle into their seats. Suter got Minnesota started on the right note with a shot over Giguere’s left shoulder.
Soon after, Setoguchi scored on a similar shot on a screened Giguere. Clutterbuck and Brodziak also added goals on “passes” from Heatley, who actually hit the post with two shots, only to have the puck carom to his teammates.
The four goals in the opening 20 minutes were a season-high for the Wild and brought the day to an end for Giguere. He sat on the bench as Varlamov took his spot in goal.
Milan Hejduk was a scratch after returning to the lineup Thursday at Minnesota, his first game back after sitting out five straight with a torso injury.
Hejduk has been quite productive against the Wild throughout his career, scoring 22 goals. Only Jarome Iginla (35) has more versus the Wild.
Minnesota was without forward Jason Zucker for a second straight game. The rookie has what the team is calling an upper-body injury after a violent blindside collision with Corey Perry that brought the Anaheim right winger a four-game suspension.
Zucker is on the trip with the Wild and possibly could play in Vancouver on Monday.
Notes: Wild D Brett Clark was a scratch for a second straight game after being signed for the rest of the season on Thursday. Clark played five-plus seasons for Colorado. … Avs D Ryan Wilson (ankle) was a scratch. … Duchene had two assists, giving him 10 points in his last five games. … Colorado dropped to 2-1 in day games this season.
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