Wild 1, Avalanche 0

Niklas Backstrom made 23 saves for his first shutout of the

season, Antti Miettinen scored for Minnesota, and the Wild beat the

Colorado Avalanche 1-0 on Wednesday night.

It was Backstrom’s 18th NHL shutout.

Peter Budaj had 21 saves for Colorado, which has lost three

straight at home but only one in regulation.

Minnesota, which has won seven of nine, has not lost to Colorado

in four games this season, including two shootout wins.

The Wild scored the only goal they needed 5:57 in when Miettinen

pounced on Andrew Brunette’s rebound for his eighth goal of the

season. Miettinen has seven goals and nine points in his last eight

games.

The Avalanche had several chances to tie it in the first, but

they couldn’t capitalize on three power-play opportunities.

Colorado thought it did get even when Matt Duchene beat

Backstrom with 14:37 left in the second, but the officials ruled

the net was off its moorings when the puck crossed the line. The

call was confirmed by video review.

The Avalanche turned up the pressure in the third period. Marek

Svatos had two good chances in the first 6 minutes, and then had

another chance on a breakaway with 7:20 left but Backstrom came up

big to preserve the shutout.

NOTES: The Wild are 12-1-2 in their last 15 regular-season games

against the Avalanche. … Colorado G Craig Anderson missed his

fourth straight game because of a neck injury sustained at Florida

on Dec. 2. … The Avalanche were 0 for 6 on the power play. It was

the second time in nine games they failed to score a power-play

goal.