NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Minnesota 2 1 1 4
Colorado 1 0 1 2
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ETNaN:� BRT, March 29, 2023
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 18,140

Wild visit Avalanche with first place in Central on the line

Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche

  1. The Avalanche are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games against the Wild, including a win in each of the teams' two previous meetings this season: 6-3 on October 17 and 3-2 on February 15, both in Minnesota. Colorado has won its last four home games versus the Wild.
  2. The Wild lost five consecutive road games from January 19 through February 8 but they're 7-0-3 on the road since then. It's the third-longest road point streak in Wild franchise history, behind a 14-game streak in 2016-17 and one of 12 games in 2014-15.
  3. Minnesota has scored 38 goals in nine games since its leading scorer, Kirill Kaprizov (39 goals in 65 games), was sidelined by an injury. The Wild's average of 4.22 goals per game is the sixth highest in the NHL over that span. Minnesota was averaging 2.75 goals per game this season when Kaprizov was injured on March 8 (26th in the NHL).
  4. Matt Boldy scored three goals in Minnesota's win over Seattle on Monday. It was Boldy's second hat trick in nine days (March 19 vs. Capitals) and the third of his brief NHL career. The only player with more hat tricks than Boldy since he made his debut on Jan. 6, 2022 is Buffalo's Tage Thompson (five).
  5. Colorado's current 12-game power-play goal streak is the longest by an NHL team within one season since the Bruins scored at least one power-play goal in each of 14 consecutive games in 2019-20 (Dec. 14-Jan. 13).
  6. The Avs' 5-1 win at Anaheim on Monday was the 700th game of Nathan MacKinnon's NHL career. His total of 743 points is the fifth highest through 700 games among players who've debuted since 1995-96. The top four are Sidney Crosby (930 points), Connor McDavid (840, in only 562 games), Alex Ovechkin (834) and Evgeni Malkin (825).
(AP Photo/Craig Lassig)

After months of chasing down the top teams in the Central Division, the Colorado Avalanche have an opportunity to move into first place.

Colorado is 9-1-0 in its last 10 games to overtake Dallas in the standings and now sets its sights on the division-leading Minnesota Wild. The teams will meet on Wednesday night in Denver night to wrap up the three-game season series.

The Avalanche (44-23-6, 94 points) won the first two games in Minnesota and would jump over the Wild in the standings with a win Wednesday.

Minnesota (43-22-9, 95 points) has been surging in its last 10 games, going 7-1-2 to take the top spot in the Central Division. Wednesday night's game might prove to be more important for the Wild than Colorado considering their next three games -- a home-and-home against Vegas and a trip to Pittsburgh to play a hungry Penguins team.

Minnesota has been riding the incredible streak winger Matt Boldy is having lately. He notched his second hat trick in five games in the win over Seattle on Monday night and has nine goals in that five-game span.

What matters most to Boldy is winning the division to avoid playing Colorado or the Stars in the first round of the playoffs.

"We want to be first," Boldy said. "We want to win every game. To kind of have it start coming all together in a way and playing good hockey, it's exciting."

Boldy has stepped up in the absence of Kirill Kaprizov, who has not played since suffering a lower-body injury on March 8. Defenseman John Klingberg (upper body) has missed three straight games and Ryan Reaves left Monday's game with an upper-body injury.

There has been no update on Reaves' status for Wednesday.

The Avalanche understand injuries and riding the hot hand down the stretch. Colorado has played the whole season without captain Gabriel Landeskog (knee) and defenseman Josh Manson (lower body) has missed significant time, but others have stepped up.

Nathan MacKinnon can't match Boldy's goal production of late, but he has at least one point in 19 straight home games and is five points from the first 100-point season of his career. He has 24 points in March, second most in the NHL behind Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid -- who both have 25 -- and has played great down the stretch.

"The more important the game, the more he's going to show up for his team. It's just another level of determination," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "It's probably hard to maintain or stay up through the course of 82 games, but when the games get big, he's the guy that is going to show up for you."

MacKinnon had a goal and an assist in Monday's 5-1 win at Anaheim, which capped a back-to-back set and a move into second place.

"We've been able to collect some points," Colorado defenseman Bowen Byram said. "We're in a tight race, so it means a lot."

Colorado has a chance to gain on both division rivals this week. Dallas comes to town Saturday night and a sweep of those two games, ahead of two games in San Jose next week, would put the reigning champions in control of the division.

--Field Level Media

Updated March 29, 2023

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