RW Dany Heatley scored twice, rookie C Mikael Granlund tallied his first career goal, and C Mikko Koivu and LW Zach Parise had two assists each, leading the new-look Minnesota Wild to an 11th straight home-opening win, 4-2 over the Colorado Avalanche in front of a sellout crowd of 19,298 – the sixth largest crowd ever at Xcel Energy Center. RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard added a goal and G Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves for the Wild, which capped off an exciting Wells Fargo Hockey Day Minnesota on FOX Sports North. The Wild plays host to Dallas on Sunday at 7 p.m.
RW Dany Heatley recorded his 61st career two-goal game, giving him 350 career goals. Heatley, who led the Wild with 24 goals and 53 points last season, also notched his seventh career game with two PPG – his first since Feb. 6, 2010, at Washington. Heatley had a single two-goal game last season. Heatley is now the leading PPG goal scorer in the NHL since coming into the league in 2002-03 (131). Ilya Kovalchuk has 129.
C Mikael Granlund, the Wild’s top pick (ninth overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, scored a goal in his NHL debut. He joined Marian Gaborik as the lone Wild players to score a goal in their NHL debut in a season opener. Granlund is one of eight, first-round picks on Minnesota’s roster.
LW Zach Parise posted his 36th career two-assist game. He had seven last season with New Jersey.
RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard, limited to 97 games due in the last three seasons, scored a third-period goal.
G Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves, improving to 21-5-2 all-time versus the Avs, including 12-3-1 at home.
Minnesota improved to 5-1-1 all-time on Hockey Day Minnesota, including four straight victories.
The Wild has never lost a home opener played at Xcel Energy Center, going 11-0-1 in the team’s 12 seasons and winning the last 11 straight.
Minnesota went 2-for-7 on the power play and killed off all three Avalanche power plays.
The Wild outshot the Avs 30-15 over the last two periods.
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