for this game

Avalanche down Wild

Dec 27, 2011 - 4:40 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Jan Hejda and T.J. Galiardi scored in the third period to send Colorado over Minnesota, 4-2, at Xcel Energy Center.

Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog also tallied for the Avalanche, who have won five in a row.

Semyon Varlamov made 20 stops for the victory as Colorado snapped a nine-game road losing string.

"I think we might want to try this more often," said Avs head coach Joe Sacco about his club staying home over Christmas and then flying into the Twin Cities earlier Monday and then winning on the road for the first time in over two months.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Cal Clutterbuck lit the lamp for the Wild, whose losing streak reached seven games.

Niklas Backstrom allowed all four scores on 32 shots.

The Avalanche took a 3-2 lead with 9:40 left in regulation, when Hejda was left alone in the slot to redirect an O'Reilly pass into a half-open net.

Galiardi added an insurance goal with a rising shot from the bottom of the left circle which eluded Backstrom with 6:54 to play.

Backstrom wasn't able to leave the bench until under a minute to play but the Wild couldn't find the net.

Minnesota found itself with an early major power play after Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left the game at the 5:22 mark of the first period after taking a hard check from behind into the end boards by Colorado's Cody MacLeod.

"I don't have an update on Jared. And I didn't like the hit, not one bit," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo. "It looked like they were targeting him. He got hit from behind twice before that."

Near the end of the advantage, Bouchard ripped a one-timer from the top of the right circle off a Dany Heatley dish and beat Varlamov to the far side at 9:31.

Colorado finally equalized on its power play with 9:26 left in the second period, as O'Reilly tipped in a Matt Duchene point shot that appeared to be going wide of the net.

It was 2-1 for the Wild less than two minutes later after Clutterbuck redirected a Mikko Koivu dish in front, but Landeskog countered for the Avs on a stuffer with 1:02 left in the period.

Game Notes

Colorado's last road victory came in a 5-4 shootout decision at Chicago on October 22...Koivu returned to the lineup after missing four games due to a leg injury...The Avs host Winnipeg on Tuesday, while the Wild play in Nashville on Wednesday.