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Anderson, Avalanche down Wild

Jan 15, 2011 - 5:35 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Craig Anderson turned aside 32 shots to backstop the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Milan Hejduk, Tomas Fleischmann, Kevin Porter and Ryan Wilson lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who won for just the fourth time in their last 12 games (4-6-2).

"It was a good team effort tonight," Hejduk said.

Colorado forward Chris Stewart returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the last 21 games with a broken left hand that he suffered in a fight with Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak on November 27.

While the Avalanche welcomed back Stewart, forward Ryan O'Reilly was carried off the ice on a stretcher after going head-first into the boards. The 19- year-old was injured at the 5:22 mark of the second period while attempting to beat Minnesota forward Matt Cullen to a loose puck at the defensive blue line on a Wild power play.

O'Reilly stumbled awkwardly into the boards near the Minnesota bench, with his head, neck and left shoulder absorbing most of the impact. He was taken to St. Paul's Regions Hospital, where he was alert and able to move his extremities.

Andrew Brunette scored the lone goal for Minnesota, which has dropped three in a row.

"There were a lot of scrambles around the [Colorado] net, where we just couldn't get our stick on [the puck]," said Minnesota forward John Madden.

With No. 1 goaltender Niklas Backstrom and backup Jose Theodore battling hip injuries, Anton Khudobin made his second career NHL start for the Wild and allowed three goals on 17 shots.

The Avalanche built a 2-0 lead in the first period, getting goals from Porter and Hejduk. Porter fired a wrister past Khudobin at 8:55, then Hejduk hammered a return pass from Paul Stastny during a power play at 17:34.

Fleischmann was the recipient of a friendly bounce at 14:45 of the middle stanza, flipping a puck from just inside the blue line that Khudobin misplayed.

Brunette put Minnesota on the board at 4:14 of the third period, tapping in Mikko Koivu's pass from behind the net.

Wilson's empty-net marker sealed the win with 50 seconds remaining.

Game Notes

Stewart was Colorado's leading goal-scorer (11) at the time of the injury...The Wild had gone 9-2-0 in their last 11 home games against the Avalanche...Colorado improved to 14-2-3 when scoring first this season.