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Madden leads Minnesota past Avalanche

Mar 9, 2011 - 4:27 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - John Madden's goal with 9:05 left in the third proved to be the difference as the Minnesota Wild scored three times in the final 20 minutes to earn a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center.

Martin Havlat, Jared Spurgeon and Kyle Brodziak each recorded a goal and an assist for Minnesota, which suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo on Sunday but has won two of its last three contests.

Andrew Brunette also tallied for the Wild, who now have 77 points and tied Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Niklas Backstrom turned aside 28-of-30 shots to pick up the victory.

Paul Stastny had a goal and a helper, while Kevin Porter also lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who have dropped six straight and 16 of their past 17 games overall. Peter Budaj made 20 saves in defeat.

"The results aren't satisfying, but the game itself was," Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco said. "There were a lot of things we did well in the game. I thought the guys competed hard for the most part."

Tied at 2-2, Minnesota took the lead for good at 10:55 of the third. Matt Cullen forced a turnover behind the Colorado net and fed to Madden, who re- directed the puck by Budaj.

Then with 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Spurgeon's backhander from below the left circle found the back of the net for a 4-2 Minnesota advantage. Brodziak added an empty net tally with four seconds left to close out the scoring.

"We started well, then we kind of stopped playing," Havlat said. "We weren't happy the way we played in the second and we got back on the right note in the third, which was the most important."

Havlat opened the scoring 7:04 into the contest when he tapped home a Brodziak pass to give Minnesota the early lead.

Porter evened things at 1-1 at 6:43 of the second stanza on a wrist shot.

Stastny put a backhander by Budaj on the power play with 3:49 left in the second, but Brunette swatted a rebound home with 2:14 remaining and it was a 2-2 game after two periods.

Game Notes

Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck missed the game due to an upper-body injury...Wild left wing Guillaume Latendresse (sports hernia and hip surgery) returned to the lineup after being out since October 25...Backstrom improved to 17-4-2 in his career against the Avalanche.