for this game

Stastny, Hejduk lift Avalanche past Wild

Dec 2, 2008 - 5:24 AM
By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (Ticker) -- Colorado's Paul Stastny didn't expect a game against the Minnesota Wild to be type of contest that would allow both he and linemate Milan Hejduk to break out of their recent slumps.

He certainly enjoyed the surprise Monday as the two broke out of slumps in a big way.

Stastny recorded two goals and an assist and Hejduk scored and set up two others as the Avalanche netted four goals in the second period en route to a 6-5 triumph over the Wild in a battle of Northwest Division rivals.

"Especially in this building, you don't expect it," Stastny said of the big offensive night. "Division games are usually high scoring or low scoring. I think it was a good one. It's not just about the goals. It's more important that we got the win."

Marek Svatos, T.J. Hensick and David Jones also tallied for Colorado, which snapped a five-game losing streak in Minnesota.

"It's one you wouldn't expect coming into this building, but I think it's the best we've skated in a while, offensively and supporting the puck," Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. "We were sharp early and took advantage of some of their breakdowns, but we played a pretty solid road game from start to finish."

Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored twice, Mikko Koivu had a goal and two assists and Owen Nolan and defenseman Brett Burns also scored for Minnesota, which was hosting the 300th home game in club history.

Niklas Backstrom allowed a career-high six goals for the Wild, who were coming off an emotional 6-2 win at Nashville on Saturday. He was replaced at the start of the third by backup Josh Harding, who turned aside five shots in the third.

"Every time we play Colorado, I mention they have great skill," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If you sleep, they will fill the net. You have to be sharp. If you're not, they will score six goals. And you know what, if Backstrom wouldn't have been good tonight, they would have scored 10, because he was good."

The fire his team showed on Saturday must have stayed in Nashville as Colorado controlled play throughout, outshooting Minnesota, 31-17.

Each time the Avalanche would seemingly take control, they would let the Wild back into the contest with a costly penalty. Three of Minnesota's five goals were on the power-play.

"They've got a great power play, no doubt," Granato said. "Usually when your team's flat, your power play carries over to that. That wasn't the case for them tonight. It was obviously the best part of their game tonight. They were extremely sharp.

"We made a couple of plays down low and the pucks got through us in front of the net that normally wouldn't or shouldn't and they buried their chances."

It took Minnesota five seconds on the power play to score its second goal and tie the game 2-2 heading into the first intermission as Koivu scored his ninth of the season. Bouchard's second of the game and fifth of the season came 22 seconds into the second period on another power play for the Wild.

Then Stastny and Hejduk went to work.

Stastny scored at 3:49 of the second to tie the game 3-3. Hejduk's 10th goal of the season at 8:16 gave Colorado the lead and Hensick added his first of the season and Stastny connected for his second of the game and sixth of the season for a 6-3 advantage.

"It's the worst two periods that I've seen," Lemaire said. "We made so many mistakes there in the first and second, and then we lost confidence. Even though the guys tried hard in the third, it wasn't enough. The concentration wasn't there, all types of mistakes, two defense on one guy, that's important mental mistakes."

Stastny had gone without a point in four games, and had just one goal and four assists in his past 13 games. Meanwhile, Hejduk was held without a point in four contests, and had one goal and one assist in his past 11 games.

"We've been getting our chances the past couple of games," Stastny said. "Sometimes it's frustrating, and sometimes you get a bounce or two. Maybe it happened the other day and maybe it happened today. You get a couple of bounces and the whole bench is alive and everyone knows they can chip in."

Nolan scored his fifth of the season on another man-advantage, this time taking just seven seconds into the power play at 19:18 in the second.

Burns scored his fourth of the season with exactly six minutes remaining in the third to bring Minnesota back to within one at 6-5, but goaltender Peter Budaj would hold the Wild from there. Budaj finished with 12 saves.

"That was probably the two worst periods we've played all year, I thought," Minnesota defenseman Kim Johnsson said. "We have to take the good with us. We played a strong third, and we started playing our game in the third. This is what happens when you don't play your game for the first two periods."






  • 69
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    alacy52 Added 5 roots

    Avalanche 6, Wild 5  FinalDec 1 10:50 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 4 0 6
    MINNESOTA 2 2 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 4 (MIKKO KOIVU, MARTIN SKOULA)
    5:50
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 4 (JOHN-MICHAEL LILES, RUSLAN SALEI) 9:09
    COL - DAVID JONES 3 (IAN LAPERRIERE, CODY MCCORMICK) 12:43
    MIN - (PP) MIKKO KOIVU 9 (BRENT B

    Dec 1 10:46 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL COLORADO 6
    MINNESOTA 5
    3RD PRD: MIN - BRENT BURNS 4 (KIM JOHNSSON) 14:00

    Avalanche 6, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:43 PM
  • 64
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    RUWTbot Took away 27 roots (Close Finish)

    Avalanche 6, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:43 PM
  • 91
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    scampboy Added 5 roots

    Avalanche 5, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:38 PM
  • 86
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Avalanche 5, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    MINNESOTA 5
    3RD PRD: MIN - BRENT BURNS 4 (KIM JOHNSSON) 14:00

    Avalanche 5, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:25 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Avalanche 5, Wild 5  3rd - 6:00Dec 1 10:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 3 5
    MINNESOTA 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 4 (MIKKO KOIVU, MARTIN SKOULA)
    5:50
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 4 (JOHN-MICHAEL LILES, RUSLAN SALEI) 9:09
    COL - DAVID JONES 3 (IAN LAPERRIERE, CODY MCCORMICK) 12:43
    MIN - (PP) MIKKO KOI

    Dec 1 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    MINNESOTA 4
    2ND PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 5 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, MIKKO KOIVU) 19:18

    Avalanche 5, Wild 4  2nd - 0:42Dec 1 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 6 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 17:51

    Avalanche 5, Wild 3  2nd - 2:09Dec 1 9:38 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 39 roots

    Avalanche 4, Wild 3  2nd - 8:15Dec 1 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 10 (UNASSISTED) 8:16

    Avalanche 4, Wild 3  2nd - 11:44Dec 1 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 3
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 5 (BRIAN WILLSIE, MILAN HEJDUK) 3:49

    Avalanche 3, Wild 3  2nd - 16:11Dec 1 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    MINNESOTA 3
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 5 (MARC-ANDRE BERGERON, MAREK
    ZIDLICKY) 0:22

    Avalanche 2, Wild 3  2nd - 19:38Dec 1 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 2 2
    MINNESOTA 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 4 (MIKKO KOIVU, MARTIN SKOULA)
    5:50
    COL - MAREK SVATOS 4 (JOHN-MICHAEL LILES, RUSLAN SALEI) 9:09
    COL - DAVID JONES 3 (IAN LAPERRIERE, CODY MCCORMICK) 12:43
    MIN - (PP) MIKKO KOI

    Dec 1 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    MINNESOTA 2
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) MIKKO KOIVU 9 (BRENT BURNS, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    19:18

    Avalanche 2, Wild 2  1st - 0:42Dec 1 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: COL - DAVID JONES 3 (IAN LAPERRIERE, SCOTT HANNAN) 12:43

    Avalanche 2, Wild 1  1st - 7:17Dec 1 8:31 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: COL - MAREK SVATOS 4 (JOHN-MICHAEL LILES, RUSLAN SALEI) 9:09

    Avalanche 1, Wild 1  1st - 10:51Dec 1 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    MINNESOTA 1
    1ST PRD: MIN - PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 4 (MIKKO KOIVU, MARTIN SKOULA)
    5:50

    Avalanche 0, Wild 1  1st - 14:10Dec 1 8:21 PM
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    Avalanche vs. WildDec 1 5:41 PM
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    Avalanche vs. WildDec 1 5:05 PM