Minnesota Wild (9-6-0) vs. Colorado Avalanche (9-5-1)
The surging Minnesota Wild take on the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. Minnesota defeated the San Jose Sharks on Monday, 6-2. That was their third straight victory. Colorado lost to Vegas at home on Monday, 3-0. The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Avalanche.
Colorado won the most recent battle between these teams, defeating the Wild back on February 2, 2-1. The Avalanche are 5-4-1 in the last 10 meetings between these teams. This season the Avalanche are 2-0-1 against Minnesota. Colorado is favored at -185.
Zuccarello Pushes Wild Past SharksMats Zuccarello scored a goal and added three assists as the Minnesota Wild routed the San Jose Sharks, 6-2. Zuccarello was one of six players that had at least two points in this game. Rookie Kaapo Kahkonen was outstanding in net for the third straight game, stopping 31 of 33 shots. He has given up four goals combined over his last three games.
Minnesota is averaging 2.933 goals per game while allowing 2.533 per contest, sixth-best in the NHL. They are averaging 30.3 shots per game while allowing 28.9 per contest. The Wild power-play has struggled mightily this season, connecting on 9.1% of their opportunities, 29th in the league. They are third in penalty killing and 87.3%.
After sitting out the last three games with an undisclosed illness, goaltender Cam Talbot returns between the pipes. Talbot has started six games with a 2.40 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
Zuccarello has been outstanding for Minnesota in his four games with the team, recording seven points. Kirill Koprizov leads the team with 13 points. After recording three points to start the season, Koprizov had been in a bit of a slump, recording six points over the last 12 games. However, with a goal and an assist against San Jose, he now has four points over the last two contests.
Avalanche Blanked by Golden KnightsMarc-Andre Fleury stopped all 34 shots he faced as the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, 3-0. Philipp Grubauer stopped 25 of 28 shots, but he was no match for Fleury on this night. Colorado earned just one power-play in the game.
Colorado is averaging 2.93 goals per game as well while allowing 2.13 per contest, second in the NHL. They are fifth in shots per game at 31.8 and second in shots allowed at 26.7. The Avalanche are connecting on 23.0% of their power plays and are first in the NHL in penalty killing at 88.2%.
Despite the loss, Philipp Grubauer is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL right now. In 13 starts he has a 1.78 GAA and a .932 save percentage. The three goals allowed against Vegas was the most he has allowed in his last seven starts and he has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts.
Nathan MacKinnon leads the team in scoring with 18 points. He has had six multi-points games this season.
- 1-5 in their last six games against teams with a winning record.
- 6-2 in their last eight games.
- 5-2 in their last seven games against teams with a winning record.
- 5-1 in their last six games at home.