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(Friday, November 29th)
Final Score: Colorado 3, Minnesota 1
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Gabriel Landeskog notched a goal and two assists, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 27 shots to remain perfect on the season as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, on Friday at Xcel Energy Center.
Nathan MacKinnon scored once and added an assist, while Jan Hejda also lit the lamp for the Avs, who have won four of their last five games.
Giguere faced his largest workload in the final frame, turning away all 16 shots he faced in the period en route to becoming the first Colorado netminder to start a season 6-0-0.
Dany Heatley scored the lone Minnesota marker, while Josh Harding allowed two goals on 20 shots for the Wild, who have lost three straight games.
"We've lost three games in a row," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said. "We all have to recognize that and be better."
Hejda got Colorado on the board just under four minutes in when his blast from the right point slipped past the glove-side of a screened Harding to make it 1-0 at 3:45.
After killing off a five-minute boarding major against Cody McLeod that stretched into the second stanza, the Avs added to their lead at 4:34 of the middle frame when MacKinnon redirected Landeskog's right point shot high over Harding's shoulder for a 2-0 lead.
Minnesota's Nino Niederreiter found a cutting Heatley for a tip-in tally with 4:58 left in the second to bring Minnesota within one, but Giguere came up with a number of sprawling saves in the third to keep Colorado in front.
Landeskog added an empty-netter at 19:40 to account for the final margin.
"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 everybody."
Minnesota center Erik Haula made his NHL debut and recorded his first career point with an assist ... The Wild allowed the first goal for the sixth consecutive game ... MacKinnon, an 18-year-old rookie, notched his third multi-point game of the season ... Colorado had dropped three straight and 10 of their last 14 meetings with the Wild ... Minnesota forward Zach Parise returned from a one-game absence and recorded four shots in just over 23 minutes of ice time.
11/29 21:16:18 ET