Staal, Wild hang on to beat Avalanche, 3-2

Staal, Wild hang on to beat Avalanche, 3-2

Staal, Wild hang on to beat Avalanche, 3-2

Injuries: Wild F Matt Hendricks (lower body) is out. Dumba was called for a tripping penalty on the play.

Truth be told, the Colorado Avalanche played the night before at home, so the Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen juggernaut, a line that has combined for a ridiculous 24 goals and 55 points in 12 games, probably exhausted themselves out by absolutely dominating the Ottawa Senators during a 10-point evening.

Players to watch: Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is the NHL's reigning first star of the week after scoring six goals last week. The Avalanche went 3-8 in the second game of a back-to-back last season.

But the Wild is about to get a major test beginning on Monday night as they begin a seven-game trip that will include stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, St. Louis, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim before a return trip to St. Louis. "I'm not a goal scorer so if they come, great, but at the end of the day this is a rival team in the same division".

That proved to be the case as the Wild managed to keep the dynamic trio off the scoresheet for most of the night en route to a 3-2 win to stretch their winning streak to five games.

"I said this morning and continued tonight, I feel like our game's gotten better each game".

Staal gave Colorado a 2-1 lead on the power play, one-timing a pass from Granlund at 10:16 of the third period. Colorado pulled Varlamov after going on the power play, but Minnesota won the faceoff in its own zone before Brodin fired the length of the rink to score.

"I was really happy after the first period", Boudreau said. "I felt I could go for it". Avalanche forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen were held without a point for the second time this season (Oct. 24, a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves for the Wild, while Varlamov stopped 25 shots. Granlund and Jason Zucker assisted.

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Minnesota is now 5-1-1 on the year when giving up the first goal.

"We had a lot of good chances, a lot of good looks", MacKinnon said.

In what has been a road heavy schedule, the Avalanche played seven of the first 12 games away from the Pepsi Center. Minnesota came in having scored on 11.5 percent of its power plays, which was 27th in the league.

"Special teams in games like this win you games", Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They were the difference, I thought".

The Wild, who began the season 1-2-2, are 5-0-2 at home. We've put together more and more good minutes of hockey each night.

NOTES: Wild D Ryan Suter was honored for playing in his 1,000th career game.

Forward Tyson Jost missed the game with a head injury he sustained Friday against Ottawa ... "So we're looking at it as a two-game road trip, and hopefully that makes it not as daunting as, 'Oh man, seven games in seven tough buildings'". If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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