Two days after playing one of its best games of the season, the Minnesota Wild gave a completely lackluster performance against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The one bright spot for the Wild is that it got over the one-goal hump, but gave up four goals and lost in a shootout.

The Wild (6-6-2) snapped a streak of six straight games that it scored only goal in regulation (two 2-1 overtime wins in that stretch), but may played one of its worst games.

"It's funny how it works," Mike Rupp said. "This was probably one of our poorest games of late and scored more goals than the good games that we played."

Zach Parise and Rupp scored the first two goals of the game for the Wild. They did in the way the Wild need to score goals; driving the net.

Parise scored on a wrap-around to tie the game at one in the second period. Rupp later tied the game at two early in the third period by pushing at the puck in the crease. 

"Most goals in the NHL are scored like that," Rupp said. "I think we are doing a better job of shooting the puck. We are not turning up chances to shoot the puck."

Mikko Koivu gave the Wild its only lead of the game with a backhand shot into an open net after Dany Heatley stickhandled through several defenders before losing control of the puck in the slot.

The lead was short lived as the Avalanche got its third goal of the game 46 seconds later while the Wild's third line was hemmed into its own end the whole shift. Matt Duchene eventually banked a centering pass from behind the net off Jared Spurgeon and into the open net.

The Avalanche (5-6-1) were the more aggressive team. They forced the Wild defensemen to back up and make mistakes. They won the puck battles. They were the better team.

"I just feel like we weren't engaged in battles," Rupp said. "I feel like this game was up in the air for either team and we didn't seem to take a step forward and do it early on."

Mike Yeo talked after the game about "giving up a rush so easily" and "playing soft coverage."

These are two issues that has plagued this team since before he took over as coach.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Mike Rupp. The Wild forward scored his first goal as a member of the Wild.

No. 2 – Milan Hejduk. The Avalanche forward scored a goal.

No. 1 – Matt Duchene. The Avalanche forward scored the game-tying goal.


Colorado     0 2 1 0 – 4

Minnesota     0 1 2 0 – 3

First Period – None. Penalties – None.

Second Period – 1, Colorado, Palushaj 1 (Jones, Statsny), 2:38. 2, Minnesota, Parise 7 (Koivu, Heatley), 8:52. 3, Colorado, Hejduk 2 (McGinn, Barrie), 17:26 (pp). Penalties – Bordeleau, Col (roughing), 10:14; Konopka, Min (roughing), 16:23.

Third Period – 4, Minnesota, Rupp 1 (Granlund), 2:30. 5, Minnesota, Koivu 3 (Heatley, Suter),  11:56. 6, Colorado, Duchene 4 (Parentea, O'Brien), 12:42. Penalties – Parise, Min (high sticking), 18:53.

Overtime – None. Penalties – None.

Shootout – Colorado Hejduk (goal), Duchene (goal). Minnesota Parise (save), Koivu (save).

Shots on goal – Colorado 5-15-11-1 32. Minnesota 11-8-7-3 29.

Goalies – Colorado, Giguere (26-29). Minnesota, Backstrom (29-32). A – 18,882. Referees – Dan O'Halloran, Dean Morton. Linesmen – Mike Cvik, Steve Miller.