Avalanche of goals overcome Wild
Greg Mauldin scored two goals to fuel Colorado's four-goal burst in the second period, and the Avalanche had a season-high goals total to beat the Minnesota Wild 7-4 on Saturday night and snap a three-game losing streak.
However, the game did take a toll on the health of the Avalanche, who saw Chris Stewart, John Michael-Liles and Daniel Winnick all sustain injuries.
Winnick left in the first period after being struck in the right leg by a puck. He left the ice under his own power but was limping noticeably. Stewart apparently sustained a hand injury after fighting late in the second period with Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak, and Michael-Liles was dazed after sliding into the post and hitting his head midway through the second. Michael-Liles was the only one of the three to return to the game.
Trailing 2-1 entering the second, the Avalanche tied it on Mauldin's first goal of the night 2:45 into the period. They surged in front with a three-goal flurry over a 2:11 stretch, including Mauldin's second goal at 7:50 of the second, in which he collected a rebound off the post and knocked it past goalie Niklas Backstrom.
The Avs regained the lead on Milan Hejduk's power play score at 7:18 of the second. They pulled away to a three-goal advantage 1:21 later when Kevin Shattenkirk gathered in a loose puck along the boards near center ice and skated just inside blue line before firing a slap shot that beat Backstrom. Shattenkirk extended his points streak to six games, the longest by a rookie defensemen this season.
Backstrom was replaced by Jose Theodore after Matt Duchene scored the Avalanche's seventh goal of the night at 6:49 of the third.
Colorado scored 1:01 into the game, its quickest goal to start a game this season, when Paul Stastny put in a rebound off a shot by Shattenkirk.
But the Wild answered later in the first with a pair of goals to go in front. Antti Miettinen tied it up with at 14:19 of the first with his sixth goal of the season, and on the power play, Matt Cullen beat Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj with a slap shot from just inside the blue line.
David Jones added a goal for the Avalanche at 5:03 of third to offset Brodziak's goal for the Wild at 14:22 of the second. Broadziak scored his second of the night at 13:58 of the third.
NOTES: Minnesota won five of the six meetings with Colorado last season, including two in shootouts. ... The Avs' previous season high for goals in a game was six, which they achieved twice against Calgary on Oct. 28 and St. Louis on Nov. 15. ... The four goals in the second were the most the Wild have given up in a period this season. ... The last time Minnesota allowed seven goals in a game was at Phoenix on April 12, 2002.