Dubnyk, Wild defeat Avalanche again

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent | Sunday, 03.01.2015 / 2:14 AM

DENVER -- The Minnesota Wild continued their mastery of the Colorado Avalanche with a 3-1 win at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

The Wild have won all four games against the Avalanche this season, outscoring them 12-1.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made 33 saves, is 15-3-1 since his Jan. 14 trade from the Arizona Coyotes.

"It feels good," said Dubnyk, who tied Niklas Backstrom's Wild record with his 20th consecutive start. "That had to be a playoff atmosphere, for sure. It was loud and lots of hits. When you get that emotionally involved in a game for 60 minutes and it comes down to the end, it feels that much better when the buzzer goes. We deserved that one tonight."

The Wild (33-22-7) have won five of their past six games and are in the second wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Calgary Flames. The Avalanche (27-25-11), who won three of their previous four games, are eight points behind the Wild.

"It was an intense, physical game, as it should be," Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla said. "It definitely hurts not to win it. No one's quitting in here. We're going to keep pushing until the end. This one is a setback, but the effort was strong. There's a lot of points left to be had."

Jason Pominville put the Wild in front 3-1 at 5:50 of the third period. Mikael Granlund fed Pominville skating down the right wing on a 2-on-1 rush, and Pominville shot the puck between Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov's pads for his first point in eight games.

Varlamov headed to the bench for a sixth attacker with 4:04 remaining, and the Avalanche went a 6-on-4 power play with 3:17 to play when the Wild's Nate Prosser was penalized for high sticking.

Colorado finished 0-for-7 on the power play, and is 1-for-15 in its past four games. The Wild have killed 43 of 44 penalties in a 16-game stretch.

"It's been the story of our season," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "Five-on-five we're doing a decent job scoring goals, but tonight our power play had a chance to come through for us. We had our chances. We thought we moved the puck fairly well. Right now it's not about having scoring chances or moving the puck fairly well, it's about putting the puck in the net. We just don't do it."

Justin Fontaine and Erik Haula set up each other for goals to give the Wild a 2-1 lead through two periods.

The Avalanche, who were shut out by the Wild in the first three games this season, got a second-period goal from Maxime Talbot to end a 201:32 drought against Minnesota.

"It didn't matter that we hadn't gotten one so far," Avalanche center Matt Duchene said. "We believed we were going to win. It's disappointing. We're all pretty upset in here. It's unfortunate not to come out with a better result."

Fontaine put the Wild ahead 2-1 at 9:09 of the second period during a poor Avalanche line change that came 11 seconds after the Wild were held without a shot on goal during a power play.

Jonas Brodin hit Haula with a pass from the Minnesota end, and Haula skated down the left wing into the Colorado zone. He passed across to Fontaine moving down the opposite end for a point-blank shot past Varlamov.

"It's nice getting the lead in a big game like tonight was," Fontaine said. "We were getting everyone involved, and it was huge for us to get momentum going, especially on the road. We did a good job as a line moving our feet all night."

Talbot was credited with the tying goal when a shot came off the boards. Dubnyk had the puck next to his right skate and dragged it across the goal line. The goal was confirmed by video replay.

The Wild killed four Avalanche power plays in the second period after Fontaine scored, including a 5-on-3 that lasted 39 seconds followed by a 5-on-4 advantage for 53 seconds.

"The penalty kill was huge," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I feel bad for [Dubnyk], thought he was great from the start. It's a shame, didn't feel their goal should've counted. Felt clearly pushed into the net. It would've been nice for him to get the shutout. I thought he played a really strong game."

Dubnyk was in goal for the Wild's 1-0 win against the Avalanche on Feb. 7.

Haula scored in the first period at 10:49. Fontaine passed to him along the goal line to the left of Varlamov, and Haula shot the puck through a small opening inside the near post.

Avalanche right wing Nathan MacKinnon sustained a broken nose halfway through the third period on a hit by Wild forward Sean Bergenheim.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
10:49MIN Erik Haula (7) ASST: Justin Fontaine (14), Kyle Brodziak (10) 1 - 0 MIN
2nd Period
01:32COL Max Talbot (5) ASST: Nick Holden (9) 1 - 1 Tie
09:09MIN Justin Fontaine (8) ASST: Erik Haula (5), Jonas Brodin (10) 2 - 1 MIN
3rd Period
05:50MIN Jason Pominville (13) ASST: Mikael Granlund (19) 3 - 1 MIN
Three Stars of the Game
Justin Fontaine
Justin Fontaine
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 9:53
Devan Dubnyk
Devan Dubnyk
SA: 34TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 20-21
PIM: 0PP: 12-12
SV%: .971SH: 1-1
Erik Haula
Erik Haula
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 14:46
Penalty Summary
1st Period
05:24MIN Marco Scandella  Slashing against  Gabriel Landeskog
2nd Period
03:15MIN Sean Bergenheim  Hooking against  Nate Guenin
06:58COL Brad Stuart  Cross checking against  Nino Niederreiter
10:41MIN Mikko Koivu  Tripping against  Nathan MacKinnon
11:27COL Nathan MacKinnon  Interference against  Kyle Brodziak
12:06MIN Jordan Schroeder  Too many men/ice - bench
12:59MIN Justin Fontaine  Tripping against  Gabriel Landeskog
17:13COL Zach Redmond  Hooking against  Jordan Schroeder
3rd Period
04:50COL Nate Guenin  Fighting (maj) against  Kyle Brodziak
04:50MIN Kyle Brodziak  Fighting (maj) against  Nate Guenin
06:33COL Tyson Barrie  Roughing against  Nino Niederreiter
10:31MIN Christian Folin  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
16:43MIN Nate Prosser  Hi-sticking against  John Mitchell
19:56MIN Charlie Coyle  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McLeod
19:56COL Cody McLeod  Fighting (maj) against  Charlie Coyle
19:56COL Gabriel Landeskog  Misconduct (10 min)
19:56COL Cody McLeod  Misconduct (10 min)
19:56COL Cody McLeod  Unsportsmanlike conduct
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/40/7
Faceoff Wins2637
Blocked Shots1718
Penalty Minutes2440
3C. CoyleC0001512:59
5C. FolinD0000217:24
6M. ScandellaD001026:10
9M. KoivuC0001217:44
10J. SchroederC000209:54
11Z. PariseL0004017:19
14J. FontaineR112329:53
20R. SuterD00-13027:45
21K. BrodziakC0123514:42
22N. NiederreiterR0001015:22
23S. BergenheimL0001210:20
25J. BrodinD0112026:26
26T. VanekL0001014:24
29J. PominvilleR1006015:45
39N. ProsserD0000218:05
55M. DumbaD0031019:50
56E. HaulaC1122014:46
64M. GranlundC0101017:12
40D. Dubnyk3334.97160:00
2N. HoldenD0101020:46
4T. BarrieD00-13226:00
5N. GueninD0000514:10
7J. MitchellC00-31015:55
8J. HejdaD00-20016:52
9M. DucheneC0004020:16
12J. IginlaR0005020:53
17B. StuartD0000216:37
22Z. RedmondD00-11217:44
24M. ClicheC000105:46
25M. TalbotC101108:34
28P. CareyC000005:15
29N. MacKinnonC00-14214:54
40A. TanguayL00-21018:08
45D. EverbergR00-13013:05
55C. McLeodL00031716:01
90R. O'ReillyC0003022:33
92G. LandeskogL00031022:43
1S. Varlamov2932.90656:12