It wasn't as impressive a performance as the Minnesota Wild in its first two games of its home stand. However, it did climb in the standings with a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.
After dominating the second place team in the Western Conference on Tuesday and losing, the Wild knows it let one of the teams at the bottom of the conference hang around too long.
"It was fun, but we don't want to play that way. We usually don't play that way," Devin Setoguchi said about the back-and-forth scoring chances. "We had too many turnovers tonight. That not usually in our game, but we got the job done. We put the puck in the net."
The Wild erupted for three goals, including the first career goal by rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin, in the second period.
The 19-year-old fired a laser over the glove of Semyon Varlamov to give the Wild a two-goal lead.
"About time," Ryan Suter joked after the game. "He's got a good shot."
Brodin's play has been solid all season, but the offensive production to come had not come yet.
"He's got that ability," Mike Yeo said. "He's going to continue to get better defensively - it's hard to say how much better he can get - but (offense) it's a matter of time before that continues to evolve. He's got the skill. He's got the poise. He's got the intelligence. All of it is just confidence. It was good to see him get rewarded."
The Avalanche (10-12-4) responded just 23 seconds later on Gabriel Landeskog's third goal of the season.
"I knew Ryan was going to give it back to me and I had my mind made up to get across to Mikko," Parise said. "He made me a little nervous by going upstairs. That was big goal for us."
Parise set Koivu up for the goal with the cross-ice pass with Varlamov cheating way out of his crease to Parise's side.
"I think he knows I like to shoot," Parise joked.
Koivu later scored an empty net goal for his second of the game and sixth of the season.
"Mikko's been playing so well, but the puck hasn't been going in for him," Yeo said. "I'm really happy that he got rewarded. I'm really impressed that he has been able to stay with it. He's been leading us unbelievably in this last little stretch."
Setoguchi gave the Wild the lead for good by getting enough of a rebound to slide it across the goal line. Matt Cullen started the play by faking a slap shot and walking around Greg Zanon before cutting to the net.
The Wild (14-10-2) got on the board first when Torrey Mitchell scored his second goal of the season off a pass from Cullen.
Suter leads the Wild with 20 assists through 26 games, the Wild's leading defenseman had 20 assists in 70 games last season.
"Huge impact," Yeo said. "Huge impact in so many areas. Certainly the assists is the first one that you're going to look towards, but again the leadership and just the poise he has in certain situations, especially late in games. rather than just get rid of it. He's going to hold onto it. He's going to make a play."
The Avalanche are currently tied with the Calgary Flames at the bottom of the Western Conference, but that did not stop them from making a third period push.
"That's a tough team to play against," Yeo said. "They're a very skilled team. They come at you. They find ways to get chances."
The two teams will complete a home-and-home series Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Center.
No. 3 – Mikko Koivu. The Wild forward scored two goals.
No. 2 – Matt Cullen. The Wild forward recorded two assists.
No. 1 – Ryan Suter. The Wild defenseman recorded three assists.
Colorado……1 1 1 – 3
Minnesota…..1 3 1 – 5
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Mitchell 2 (Cullen), 3:04. 2, Colorado, Parenteau 11 (Duchene, Statsny), 19:34 (pp). Penalties – McLeod, Col, major, (fighting), 2:45; Konopka, Min, major, (fighting), 2:45; Johnson, Col (interference), 14:48; Zanon, Col (slashing), 16:18; Falk, Min (holding), 19:01.
Second Period – 3, Minnesota, Setoguchi 7 (Cullen, Bouchard), 8:01. 4, Minnesota, Brodin 1 (Suter), 9:43. 5, Colorado, Landeskog 3 (O'Reilly, Johnson), 10:06. 6, Minnesota, Koivu 5 (Parise, Suter), 11:12. Penalties – Koivu, Min (tripping), :20; Zanon, Col (tripping), 9:30; Rupp, Min (roughing), 9:30; Landeskog, Col (tripping), 17:42.
Third Period – 7, Colorado, Parenteau 12 (Johnson, Zanon), 6:43. 8, Minnesota, Koivu 6 (Parise, Suter), 19:26 (en). Penalties – Kobasew, Col, major, (fighting), 4:05; Kobasew, Col (roughing; served by Parenteau), 4:05; Clutterbuck, Min, major, (fighting), 4:05.
Shots on goal – Colorado 9-11-11 32. Minnesota 13-19-8 40.
Goalies – Colorado, Varlamov (35-39). Minnesota, Backstrom (29-32). A – 18,989. Referees – Brian Pochmara, Kyle Rehman. Linesmen – Thor Nelson, Andy McElman.