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Reply To: NHL • Monday Service Plays • 12/7/15

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Preview: Minnesota at Colorado

When: 9:00 PM ET, Monday, December 7, 2015

Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The Minnesota Wild look to continue their dominance over the Colorado Avalanche when they visit their Central Division rivals on Monday. The Wild won a 3-0 decision on Saturday for their eighth victory in nine meetings with the Avalanche despite losing top goaltender Devan Dubnyk with a mild groin strain midway through the contest.

Dubnyk did not make the trip to Colorado, meaning the start will go to Darcy Kuemper, who came on to extend Minnesota’s shutout streak to 154 minutes, 39 seconds. The Wild, who rallied for a 5-4 win over Colorado in their season opener, go for their fourth straight victory overall and aim to force the Avalanche into mistakes while keeping their top line in check. “What they do really well is, they’re really quick on pucks and they forecheck hard, and they put a lot of pressure on our (defense),” Colorado coach Patrick Roy told reporters Saturday. “We were a little sloppy coming back to help our (defensemen).” The Avalanche finished their four-game road trip at 2-2-0 without receiving a point from leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN North Plus (Minnesota), Altitude (Colorado)

ABOUT THE WILD (14-7-4): Coach Mike Yeo told reporters that Dubnyk’s injury did not appear serious as Kuemper will be called upon for only the fifth time this season. “I was spraying the water on my face and trying to get loose,” Kuemper told reporters Saturday. “The guys did a really good job of allowing me to work my way into the game. They didn’t give up much.” Captain Mikko Koivu has gone five games without a point and is one behind defenseman Ryan Suter (21) for the team lead.

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (11-15-1): Matt Duchene has caught his linemate MacKinnon for the team lead at 24 points after notching goals in two of his last three games. Captain Gabriel Landeskog, who joins the top two scorers on the No. 1 line, has notched one point in his last four contests while Jarome Iginla has scored one goal in his last dozen games. Semyon Varmalov (.898 save percentage overall) made a season-high 41 saves on Saturday and Roy told reporters, “We didn’t play a good game in front of him.”

OVERTIME

1. Colorado D Tyson Barrie is tied for the team lead with 14 assists – half of which have come on the power play.

2. Minnesota LW Zach Parise has gone nine games without a goal after recording seven in his first eight contests of the season.

3. The Avalanche went 0-for-8 on the power play during their four-game road trip.

PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Wild 2