for this game

Wild score early, hang on to beat Avs

Feb 4, 2011 - 5:17 AM
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kyle Brodziak and Andrew Brunette scored the fastest two goals to start a game in Wild history and Jose Theodore was sharp with 38 saves, as Minnesota edged Northwest Division-rival Colorado, 4-3, at Pepsi Center.

Brunette also scored in the second period and Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a goal for the Wild, who have won three straight and six of their last seven games overall. Minnesota moved into sole possession of second place in the division, one point ahead of Calgary and three ahead of Colorado.

"Jose (Theodore) was very solid for us tonight," said Brunette. "We definitely got the start we were looking for."

Milan Hejduk scored twice for Colorado, which has dropped four of its last five games. Craig Anderson allowed four goals on 25 shots in the setback.

Only 61 seconds into the game, the Wild already led by two. After Brodziak scored his 10th goal 33 seconds into the opening shift, Brunette tallied -- with assists from Antti Miettinen and Mikko Koivu -- at the 1:01 mark.

"It sure wasn't the start we wanted," said Anderson. "We battled back, but it just wasn't good enough. For us, we need to find a way to be ready right at the start."

The Avalanche sliced their deficit in half at 11:47 of the second period on Hejduk's 16th goal of the season. Kevin Porter hustled down the left-wing side on a 2-on-1 rush and sent a pass between the skates of Wild defenseman Nick Schultz for Hejduk, whose snap shot one-timer from the inner rim of the right circle beat Theodore.

The Wild, though, restored their two-goal edge with 3:10 to play before the second intermission. Brunette controlled the puck along the goal line to the right of the net and found the back of the net from the near post.

Colorado drew within 3-2 just 45 seconds into the third. A blast from the right point by Adam Foote hit the rear boards and caromed directly onto the stick of Chris Stewart, who then dealt a quick cross-crease pass from the right side for a tap-in rebound tally by Hejduk at the left post.

Bouchard capped Minnesota's scoring with 8:34 remaining in regulation. An ill- timed clearing attempt from behind the net by Anderson was collected at the left circle by Martin Havlat, who quickly passed to Bouchard in the low slot for a successful backhander near the right post.

Chris Stewart scored with 11 seconds to go in the game -- his 12th marker of the season -- but it was too little, too late.

"After a terrible start, we battled back, but we just came up short," said Hejduk.

Game Notes

The previous mark for the fastest two goals at the beginning of a game occurred just recently, when the Wild scored twice in the first 3:25 in a 4-1 win over Edmonton on January 18...The Wild are now 8-1-2 in their last 11 against the Avs...Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play.