Minnesota (7-3-1) at Colorado (5-7-0) 9:00 p.m. EST
DENVER (Ticker) — Every team has ups and downs during the
season. The Minnesota Wild are hoping their downs are about to
turn back around.
The Wild look for their second win in five games when they face
the struggling Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Minnesota was the best team in the NHL through the first
two-plus weeks of the season, opening the campaign at 6-0-1.
Not only were they winning, the Wild were dominating on both
ends of the ice, outscoring the opposition, 23-14.
But the last four games have produced just two points and the
offense has run into a bit of a snag, totaling seven goals.
Minnesota dropped a 3-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks on
Tuesday, allowing a pair of unanswered tallies in the third
period. The Wild had trouble keeping the Sharks out of their
zone, allowing netminder Niklas Backstrom to face 49 shots.
The Avalanche have been markedly worse over their past four
contests, dropping all of them by a combined score of 18-7.
After allowing top goaltender Jose Theodore to leave during the
offseason, Colorado has gotten uneven play from Peter Budaj and
Andrew Raycroft. The two have combined to allow a Northwest
Division-high 42 tallies this season.
Budaj surrendered four goals in the third period on Monday in a
6-2 loss at Chicago.