Minnesota rallies late to beat Colorado

MONDAY, OCT. 22, 2007

Mikko Koivu scored with 3:04 remaining to help the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Sunday night in St. Paul, Minn.

With both teams stagnant in the final period, Koivu grabbed the puck out of the corner, started like he was going to carry it behind the net and then made a quick move to the short side and simply bulled his way out in front.

He stuffed the puck past a surprised Peter Budaj, lifting the Wild to their seventh win in the first eight games. Minnesota is off to its best start in franchise history and is the only team in the NHL that has yet to lose a game in regulation.

Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves, and Mark Parrish and Brian Rolston also scored for the Wild.

Andrew Brunette and Tyler Arnason scored for the Avalanche, and Budaj made 29 saves.

Minnesota’s struggling power-play unit, which entered the night converting 6.9 percent of its chances, scored twice in the second, but Colorado bounced right back in an action-packed period.

After Parrish and Rolston scored power-play goals just over two minutes apart to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead, Colorado responded.

Arnason got things going with a power-play goal and then Brunette scored on a tip in to tie the game.

But the Avalanche sorely missed Milan Hejduk, who was out with a back injury, and couldn’t quite come up with enough in the end.

Canucks 4, Blue Jackets 1: At Columbus, Ohio, Ryan Kesler scored two goals and goaltender Curtis Sanford had a solid game in his first start of the season to lead Vancouver past the Blue Jackets.

Markus Naslund and Kevin Bieksa added goals for the Canucks, who had lost their last two games. They won despite being outshot 20-0 during one lengthy span.

The Canucks failed to even get a shot on goal in the second period, during which Columbus outshot them 14-0. It matched the fewest shots ever in a period by the Canucks and was the second time that a Blue Jackets opponent failed to get off a shot in a period.

Still, the Blue Jackets only scored one goal despite having six power-play chances and finished 1 for 10 with a man advantage. Vancouver was 1 for 6.


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