With frustration growing, Wild get back in the win column

Getty
1 Comment

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Erik Haula had a goal and assist, Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 Sunday.

Martin Hanzal, Jared Spurgeon, Zach Parise and Jordan Schroeder also scored for Minnesota, which recovered from a tough 3-0 loss at Nashville a day earlier with a resounding win against the NHL’s worst team.

The Wild remained seven points ahead of St. Louis for second place in the Central Division and closed to within seven points of first-place Chicago.

Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado, which has lost eight of nine overall and 10 in a row on the road. The Avalanche have a league-low 45 points this season.

Related: Wild need a win, but Boudreau cautions: ‘If we’re not ready to play, we’re in trouble’

Calvin Pickard started in goal for Colorado but was pulled after allowing four goals on 16 shots. Jeremy Smith made 11 saves in relief.

The Wild were slowly pulling themselves out from a March swoon that all but locked them into second place in the division after leading the Central much of the season. Minnesota had points in three straight games and beat Ottawa in its last home game.

Then a disappointing shutout at Nashville had coach Bruce Boudreau a bit short-tempered prior to Sunday’s game.

Hanzal had his third goal in 17 games with Minnesota to open the scoring five minutes into the game and Spurgeon scored his 10th of the season 23 seconds later.

The Wild have 13 players with at least 10 goals, tied for the most of any team in the NHL.

Rantanen scored his team-leading 18th goal of the year, his fourth goal in six games, while Landeskog scored for the first time in 13 games.