DENVER (AP) — Colorado lost the lead and momentum, yet a great pass and quick stick put the Avalanche back in the lead.
Philipp Grubauer made it stand up with some big saves in the final minutes.
Gabriel Landeskog scored a tiebreaking goal late in the second period on a feed from Mikko Rantanen to lead Colorado to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Grubauer had 29 saves, including one on Kevin Fiala when Minnesota pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk for an extra skater and was pressing for the equalizer. Ryan Graves scored into the empty net with 39.1 seconds left after a flurry of shots by the Wild.
“I was kind of scrambling around a little bit. I couldn’t get up. Desperation save,” Grubauer said. “The guys played it really well, they got the puck out and scored. Game over, two points.”
Dubnyk had 28 saves.
Rantanen, who missed training camp and the preseason before agreeing to a contract with Colorado last weekend, also scored and has three goals in two games. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got his first goal with Colorado and Nathan MacKinnon had two assists.
Colorado, which has won its first two games for the third time in the last four years, gets a five-day break before playing Boston on Thursday.
“Good start. We want to keep it going,” Landeskog said.
Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist, and Zach Parise got his first of the season for the Wild, who have lost their first two games against Central Division rivals. Minnesota allowed four goals in the third period at Nashville on Thursday and gave up two quick goals to Colorado before settling down.
“You take the first 10 minutes out of the game, as you take the first 10 minutes of the game in Nashville, we were really good,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We played really hard. The effort we put in was really good. It was a hard-fought game.”
Minnesota recovered from an early 2-0 deficit but Landeskog put Colorado back in front when he tipped in a pass from Rantanen at 18:54 of the second.
“I’m not surprised when I get those on my tape from Mikko anymore,” Landeskog said. “He’s been serving those for years. I’m glad I was able to put it in, especially losing that 2-0 lead.”
Rantanen and Bellemare scored 1:27 apart early in the first period. Rantanen’s goal came just 23 seconds after Colorado went on the power play.
Suter cut the lead in half at 10:17 of the first, and Parise’s power-play goal at 8:31 of the second period got the Wild even.
“When we got the second one, I thought we had chances to go ahead,” Parise said. “They came out buzzing, which you have to expect in this building. We had looks and opportunities, the effort was there and we played hard. They capitalized and that was it.”
Minnesota had two breakaways, but couldn’t convert either. Grubauer made a glove save on Ryan Donato’s backhander in the first period, and Ryan Hartman’s chance just ahead of the Colorado defense went wide right in the second.
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