Carson McMillan broke a 2-2 tie with a breakaway at the 7:44 mark of the third period 36 seconds after getting out of the penalty box from Shane O’Brien at center ice. He raced in on Jean-Sebastian Giguere and slid a puck under him with Kyle Brodziak trailing the play. Brodziak picked up his second assist on the goal.
Justin Falk got the Wild on the board at the 10:40 mark of the first period with a wrist shot over the glove of Giguere on the power play.
Brodziak’s first assist came when Dany Heatley knocked a rebound into the net. Brodziak had the Wild’s first breakaway opportunity, but was stopped by Giguere. Greg Zanon sent a long pass up to Brodziak to set up the breakaway.
Heatley’s goal was his team-leading 15th of the season, which gave the Wild a 2-1 lead late in the first period.
The Wild (24-18-7) dominated most of the game, until the final minutes of the game. It settled into a defensive shell after taking a 3-2 lead.
Niklas Backstrom picked up his game in the third period when the Avalanche put on their best effort to tie the game after letting in two goals that I’m sure he wishes he had back.
The Avalanche (26-23-2) got on the board first when T.J. Galiardi sent a backhand into the upper part of the net at the 4:387 mark of the opening period.
Former Wild forward Chuck Kobasew tied the game at 2-2 by tapping a loose puck into the open net behind Backstrom early in the second period. Daniel Winnik took the original shot that found its way through Backstrom and trickled to the goal line, where it laid until Kobasew knocked it in.
No. 3 – Kyle Brodziak. The Wild forward had two assists.
No. 2 – Justin Falk. The Wild defenseman scored his first career NHL goal.
No. 1 – Carson McMillan. The Wild forward scored the game-winning goal.
Minnesota 2 0 1 – 3
Colorado 1 1 0 – 2
First Period – 1, Colorado, Galiardi 8 (Hejduk, Landeskog), 4:37. 2, Minnesota, Falk 1 (Setoguchi, Cullen), 10:40 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Heatley 15 (Brodziak, Zanon), 16:15. Penalties – Landeskog, Col (boarding), 6:19; Setoguchi, Min (interference), 6:38; Quincey, Col (high sticking), 9:20; Powe, Min (charging), 19:45; Quincey, Col (roughing), 19:45.
Second Period – 4, Colorado, Kobasew 7 (Winnik, McClement), 4:46. Penalties – Falk, Min, major (fighting), 6:58; Winnik, Col, major (fighting), 6:58; Winnik, Col (slashing; served by McLeod), 6:58; O’Brien, Col (hooking), 18:44.
Third Period – 5, Minnesota, McMillan 1 (Brodziak), 7:44. Penalties – McMillan, Min (high sticking), 5:08.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 13-9-12 34. Colorado 4-7-15 26.
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (24-26). Colorado, Giguere (31-34). A – N/A. Referees – Steve Kozari, Justin St. Pierre. Linesmen – Andy McElman, Jay Sharres.