NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 30th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (15-8-4) at Colorado Avalanche (18-6-0), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - There is still plenty of hockey to be played, but
picking up two points over a division rival is good any time during the
The Colorado Avalanche take aim at a home-and-home sweep over the fellow
Central Division resident Minnesota Wild on Saturday night in Denver.
The Avs and Wild met for the first time this season on Friday night, with
Colorado picking up a 3-1 victory in Minnesota. Gabriel Landeskog had a goal
and assisted on the other two, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves.
Giguere turned aside all 16 shots he faced in the third period and became the
first goaltender in Colorado team history to begin a season 6-0-0.
Nathan MacKinnon added a goal and an assist for the Avs, who have won four of
their last five following a three-game slide. They sit third overall in the
division, three points back of St. Louis and two up on Minnesota.
"I thought that was a good challenge for our team," Colorado head coach
Patrick Roy said. "Our division is strong. There are good tests for
Dany Heatley scored the lone Minnesota marker, while Josh Harding allowed two
goals on 20 shots as the Wild dropped their third straight game. They have
been outscored 9-2 over that span.
"We've lost three games in a row," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said. "We all
have to recognize that and be better."
Yeo and his team certainly recognized the toughness of forward Zach Parise,
who returned from a one-game absence stemming from a foot injury suffered on
Monday versus St. Louis. It was originally announced he was expected to miss
2-to-3 weeks with the ailment.
However, Parise's return could not extend Minnesota's series winning streak
over Colorado to four straight.
The Wild have won six of seven and nine of their last 11 in Denver.
Semyon Varlamov will start tonight for the Avs and is 4-4-0 with a 2.11 goals
against average in his career versus the Wild.
Niklas Backstrom, the likely starter for Minnesota, is 24-5-3 with a 2.22 GAA
and four shutouts lifetime against Colorado.
11/30 10:37:54 ET