"Theodore looked sharp and in control," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had to play a complete game, and we did that in all areas and had a good contribution from all 20 guys tonight."
Theodore made 20 saves, Milan Hejduk had his second two-goal game of the week and Ian Laperriere scored his 100th NHL goal in Colorado's 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night. Hejduk also scored twice Monday night against Los Angeles.
"I felt good about my game," said Theodore, who sat out home games against Los Angeles and Washington after giving up eight goals in a loss at Montreal. "I felt good because I was there to make saves.
"We know Minnesota is one of the best teams in the league, and the way we played the way tonight just showed everybody and ourselves that we can beat anybody."
Hejduk's second goal -- at 12:40 of the second period -- was the first power-play score the Wild have given up on the road this season. Minnesota, with the NHL's top penalty-killing unit, had killed 17 straight power-play chances on the road.
"It was like they played against a junior team tonight," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We had no energy, no legs, no hands. Nothing!"
The Avalanche controlled play in a fairly open first period in building a 2-0 lead. Theodore faced just seven shots.
Hejduk scored off the rebound of Paul Stastny's shot directly in front of the net at 5:02 of the period. Arnason added his fourth goal with 1:32 left, skating through the defense and wristing a shot from the left circle past Fernandez.
The teams traded power-play goals in the second period after Fernandez had kept the game close, stopping Laperriere at the doorstep with the Wild short-handed at 6:15. Moments later, Fernandez gloved Hejduk's backhander.
Demitra drew Minnesota to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 11:44. The goal came off a pass from Todd White that dribbled under Avalanche defenseman Karlis Skrastins' skate.
"I made a good shot, but what did it matter?" Demitra said. "We made a lot of messes and every mess we made they turned into a goal."
Colorado answered with a power-play goal of its own on Hejduk's second goal of the game at 12:40. The wrister from the slot went over Fernandez's stick.
Minnesota killed two penalties early in the third period. While its defense kept Colorado in check, its offense produced few opportunities in the final period. The Wild managed two harmless shots while McLean was off for slashing and failed to get a shot on goal with Andrew Brunette in the penalty box for holding.
Laperriere made it 4-1 late in the third period.
"I think we were all happy for him to get that one," Quenneville said about Laperriere's 100th goal. "He's had a number of chances and high-quality chances this year."
|Colorado forces the issue on Minnesota, winning the shots-on-goal battle 36-21 in its 4-1 win. (AP)|
|Colorado (5-4-2) «||2||1||1||4|
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|05:02||Milan Hejduk (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Stastny, John-Michael Liles|
|18:28||Tyler Arnason (4), Slap Shot - Assist: Brett McLean|
|11:44||Power Play - Pavol Demitra (2), Snap Shot - Assists: Todd White, Petteri Nummelin|
|12:40||Power Play - Milan Hejduk (6), Snap Shot - Assists: Wojtek Wolski, John-Michael Liles|
|17:11||Ian Laperriere, Slap Shot - Assists: Brett McLean, John-Michael Liles|
|13:23||Johnsson: Tripping - 2 min.|
|16:05||Koivu: Tripping - 2 min.|
|04:47||Demitra: Tripping - 2 min.|
|09:52||Sakic: Holding - 2 min.|
|11:53||Koivu: Hooking - 2 min.|
|02:18||Carney: Cross Check - 2 min.|
|04:48||Carney: Kneeing - 2 min.|
|09:22||McLean: Slashing - 2 min.|
|14:02||Brunette: Holding - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 17615|
|Game Time - 60:00|
|Referees - Mick McGeough, Craig Spada|
|Line Judges - Lonnie Cameron, Andy McElman|