Giguere Wins 6th Straight As Avs Beat Wild
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and two assists, Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves to set a franchise record with his sixth straight win to start a season, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Friday.
Jan Hejda and Nathan MacKinnon also scored for the Avs, who won for the fourth time in their past five games.
Dany Heatley scored his fourth goal in six games for Minnesota and Zach Parise returned ahead of schedule from a foot injury.
Parise — Minnesota’s leading scorer — was supposed to be out 2 to 3 weeks after blocking a shot with his left foot on Monday, but skated during warmups and felt good enough to play.
Despite Parise’s comeback, the Wild lost their third straight.
Colorado scored on its first shot of the game when Hejda’s shot from just inside the blue line sailed through traffic and past goalie Josh Harding at 3:45.
Nobody else scored in the first, but Avs winger Cody McLeod was ejected after riding Jonas Brodin into the boards from behind and drawing a game misconduct.
The Wild managed only one shot on the ensuing five-minute power play and fell behind 2-0 when MacKinnon tipped Landeskog’s shot past Harding at 4:34 of the second.
Clinging to a one-goal lead, Colorado was outshot 16-5 in the final period, but held on thanks to a couple of key saves from Giguere. The goalie known as “Jiggy” turned away a prime scoring attempt from Keith Ballard from right in front of the net with 3 minutes left in the game.
Landeskog scored into an empty net with 20 seconds to play.
Minnesota and Colorado have developed a rivalry after meeting twice in the first round of the playoffs and playing each other for 12 seasons in the now-defunct Northwest Division. Friday’s game was the first of five meetings this season between the two teams in the new Central Division.
The Avs remain undefeated after scoring first.
NOTES: Former University of Minnesota star Erik Haula had an assist in his NHL debut for the Wild after being recalled from AHL Iowa. … Colorado’s Paul Stastny missed his second consecutive game with back spasms. … Wild center Zenon Konopka left in the first period and didn’t return after taking a puck to the left eye. … Minnesota designated forward Mike Rupp for non-roster status for personal reasons. … Hejda’s goal was his first since Oct. 27. … The Wild and Avalanche play again Saturday night in Colorado.
By ADAM CZECH, AP Writer
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