“Theodore looked sharp and in control,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had to play a complete game, and we did that in all areas and had a good contribution from all 20 guys tonight.” Theodore made 20 saves, Milan Hejduk had his second two-goal game of the week and Ian Laperriere scored his 100th NHL goal in Colorado’s 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
Hejduk also scored twice Monday night against Los Angeles.
“I felt good about my game,” said Theodore, who sat out home games against Los Angeles and Washington after giving up eight goals in a loss at Montreal. “I felt good because I was there to make saves.
“We know Minnesota is one of the best teams in the league, and the way we played the way tonight just showed everybody and ourselves that we can beat anybody.”
Tyler Arnason added a goal, John-Michael Liles had a career-high three assists and Brett McLean finished with two assists to help Colorado snap Minnesota’s three-game winning streak.
Hejduk’s second goal – at 12:40 of the second period – was the first power-play score the Wild have given up on the road this season. Minnesota, with the NHL’s top penalty-killing unit, had killed 17 straight power-play chances on the road.
Pavol Demitra scored for Minnesota, and Manny Fernandez made 32 stops.
“It was like they played against a junior team tonight,” Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. “We had no energy, no legs, no hands. Nothing!”
The Avalanche controlled play in a fairly open first period in building a 2-0 lead. Theodore faced just seven shots.
Hejduk scored off the rebound of Paul Stastny’s shot directly in front of the net at 5:02 of the period. Arnason added his fourth goal with 1:32 left, skating through the defence and wristing a shot from the left circle past Fernandez.
The teams traded power-play goals in the second period after Fernandez had kept the game close, stopping Laperriere at the doorstep with the Wild short-handed at 6:15. Moments later, Fernandez gloved Hejduk’s backhander.
Demitra drew Minnesota to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 11:44. The goal came off a pass from Todd White that dribbled under Avalanche defenceman Karlis Skrastins’ skate.
“I made a good shot, but what did it matter?” Demitra said. “We made a lot of messes and every mess we made they turned into a goal.”
Colorado answered with a power-play goal of its own on Hejduk’s second goal of the game at 12:40. The wrister from the slot went over Fernandez’s stick.
Minnesota killed two penalties early in the third period. While its defense kept Colorado in check, its offence produced few opportunities in the final period. The Wild managed two harmless shots while McLean was off for slashing and failed to get a shot on goal with Andrew Brunette in the penalty box for holding.
Laperriere made it 4-1 late in the third period.
“I think we were all happy for him to get that one,” Quenneville said about Laperriere’s 100th goal. “He’s had a number of chances and high-quality chances this year.”
Notes: The Wild will play seven of their next 10 games on the road. … Brunette played in his 300th consecutive game, the fourth longest active streak in the NHL. … Hejduk has 10 points in his past eight games.