Avalanche
Wild
2 - 1 Final - OT
  for this game

Wolski, Sakic lift Avalanche over Wild

Nov 19, 2006 - 3:51 AM
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Rookie Wojtek Wolski and Joe Sakic scored in the shootout to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild.

Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj preserved the victory when he stopped Brian Rolston, who tried the slide the puck between Budaj's pads.

Budaj, who has started the last two games for Colorado after not getting a start since November 3, recorded 25 stops in a 3-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

"Rolston made a nice move and caught me off guard because I thought he was going to go back in high," Budaj said. "He made a nice shot between my legs, but I was able to bring my other leg across and get a piece of it."

Sakic, whose shootout goal was his first in his last eight tries, skated in, deked Minnesota rookie netminder Niklas Backstrom and coolly roofed a backhander past him.

"It doesn't have to look in control ... I try to take what's there," Sakic said. "I look to shoot, either shoot far side low, but if he's out, then you have no option but to make a move. I go in thinking I'm going to do one of three things, and last year none of them worked. Tonight it worked."

"I tried to be patient," Backstrom said. "If you are waiting too much on one move, they'll do something different, and you are too late. You have to go out there and keep your mind clear."

Afterward, Sakic was more pleased with the victory than how it was achieved.

"It was an important point for us," Sakic said. "We had a great game last night, and today we hung on to get it into a shootout. It was a big win for us."

Mikko Koivu scored in the shootout for the Wild, who started the season at 9-1-0 but are only 3-5-1 since.

"The first two periods, we felt that we were getting there and playing good," Koivu said. "We got the one point out of it. When you go to the shootout, it's always a bit of luck."

Minnesota tied the game, 1-1, on the power play at 14:08 of the third period when Koivu redirected Rolston's slap shot from the point past Budaj.

Sakic initially gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 7:08 of the first period. The tally was the team-leading ninth of the season for Sakic, who on Friday recorded his 926th career assist, which tied him with Stan Mikita for 14th place on the all-time list.

Backstrom, making only his second start of the season, finished with 30 saves for the Wild, who went 1-for-4 on the power play.

Budaj recorded 28 saves for the Avalanche, who went 0-for-5 with the extra skater. Colorado has just one goal in its last 26 power-play opportunities.

The Wild, 2-4-0 in its last six, heads east for a two-game road trip at Ottawa on Monday and Montreal on Wednesday.

"I thought (Budaj) played real well for them, and I thought we played a good game tonight," Rolston said. "It was just one of those things. We couldn't find the net tonight."






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