for this game

Backstrom, Nolan help Wild top Avalanche

Jan 5, 2009 - 4:59 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season and Owen Nolan netted a pair of goals in the first period, leading the Minnesota Wild to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Backstrom stopped 10 shots in the first period, 12 more in the next and 11 in the third to complete his 13th career blanking.

The 30-year-old Finn continues to have success in Colorado, winning all five of his regular-season starts at the Pepsi Center. He also became the first Wild goaltender to shut out the Avalanche in 61 games.

"I felt pretty good, the guys helped me out there," Backstrom said. "It's always tough to play against this team. They are strong in front of the net, their guys make good plays so we need to be sharp out there and we were sharp today."

Peter Budaj turned aside 35 shots for the Avalanche, who have managed just two goals over their current three-game losing streak.

The first overall pick by the Quebec Nordiques in 1990, Nolan gave Minnesota an early 1-0 lead when he deflected a slap shot by defenseman Brent Burns past Budaj at 7:23 of the opening session. The power-play tally extended Nolan's goal-scoring streak to three games.

Nolan took the puck away from defenseman Brett Clark along the boards, then scored on a wraparound at the left goalpost when he stuffed the puck past Budaj. Nolan has 18 goals and 28 points in 46 career games against his former team.

"I just seem to be in the right place at the right time right now," said Nolan, who played in just his third game since missing 10 contests with a lower-body injury.

"We're really focused on getting pucks to the net and that's where I've been heading."

The two-goal advantage proved to be more than enough for Backstrom, who improved to 9-2-1 in 12 career starts against the Avalanche. His toughest save occurred with 6:28 remaining in the second period when he stopped Wojtek Wolski on a breakaway.

"The first goal is always big and we got two in the first," Backstrom said. "We didn't have to go out there and chase. We could just focus on playing our own game."

Wolski thought a penalty should have been called on the play.

"I was disappointed there wasn't a call made," he said. "We talk about any stick on the hands is going to be a penalty shot or a penalty. It was a clear slash. I tried my best to put it as high as I could, but it didn't go in."

Colorado was shut out for the fourth time this season and outscored, 8-1, during its brief two-game homestand. Prior to that, the Avalanche had won seven of eight at the Pepsi Center.

Minnesota killed all three Colorado power plays. The Avalanche have failed to score on their last 18 power plays.

"We need to play the same kind of hockey we played in the third period," Colorado's Milan Hejduk said. "I thought it was decent from our side - a lot of pucks to the net and driving to the net, just simple things right now. Hopefully, we will get some breaks."

Not only did Colorado lose its third straight game, the Avalanche lost defenseman Adam Foote to an arm injury during the second period and Chris Stewart briefly left the contest after being helped off the ice after blocking a shot with 7:10 remaining in the game.






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Wild 2, Avalanche 0  FinalJan 6 6:45 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 0 0 2
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) OWEN NOLAN 8 (BRENT BURNS, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:23
    MIN - OWEN NOLAN 9 (KRYSTOFER KOLANOS) 10:42
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: MIN - 1 OF 6, COL - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Jan 4 10:27 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 0 2
    COLORADO 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) OWEN NOLAN 8 (BRENT BURNS, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:23
    MIN - OWEN NOLAN 9 (KRYSTOFER KOLANOS) 10:42
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 14 15

    Jan 4 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 2 2
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) OWEN NOLAN 8 (BRENT BURNS, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:23
    MIN - OWEN NOLAN 9 (KRYSTOFER KOLANOS) 10:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 14 14
    COL

    Jan 4 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - OWEN NOLAN 9 (KRYSTOFER KOLANOS) 10:42

    Wild 2, Avalanche 0  1st - 9:18Jan 4 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: MIN - (PP) OWEN NOLAN 8 (BRENT BURNS, PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD)
    7:23

    Wild 1, Avalanche 0  1st - 12:37Jan 4 8:21 PM
  • 5
    roots
    davipilo Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. AvalancheJan 4 12:26 PM