ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Kurtis MacDermid scored the winning goal early in the third period and the Colorado Avalanche held on to defeat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Friday night.

Ross Colton and Valeri Nichushkin also scored for the Avalanche, who have won five of their last six games. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 19 of 21 shots.

The little-used MacDermid has been a healthy scratch much of the year. He was playing in just his fifth game of the season, and first since Nov. 13.

“It’s not necessarily part of my job, but it’s always nice to be able to help my team offensively,” said MacDermid, who scored his first of the season and now has 10 goals in 225 career games. “I won’t get many of those opportunities in games, so I have to make sure I capitalize when I do.”

Skating on Colorado’s fourth line, MacDermid spent just 3 minutes, 30 seconds on the ice, but he made his few shifts count.

“When you see guys working hard, in and out of the lineup, you want to see them get rewarded for their work,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “To be able to go out and get the big one, all the guys were excited on the bench.”

Kirill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek scored and Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves for the Wild, who are 0-4-2 in their last six games.

On the game-winner, Andrew Cogliano scooped up a Wild turnover and carried it to the corner. MacDermid broke free in the slot and took Cogliano's pass on the fly. MacDermid deked Gustavsson and tucked it home on the backhand.

The Wild were playing for the first time since returning from a trip to Sweden, where they earned one point in two games against Ottawa and Toronto. In their last home game before the trip, they gave up five power-play goals in a loss to Dallas.

The Minnesota penalty kill was much stronger against the Avalanche, who scored just once in seven power-play opportunities.

“If we would have played like this all season we would have a lot more wins,” Gustavsson said. "It’s a completely different team in front of me now than when we let in those 5, 6, 7 goals a night."

Nichushkin’s power-play goal, a redirection of Nathan MacKinnon's slap shot, gave Colorado a 2-0 lead at 8:39 of the second period.

But just 34 seconds later, Kaprizov’s tip trickled through Georgiev’s pads to put the Wild on the board.

Minnesota tied it on Eriksson Ek’s power-play goal five minutes later, but MacDermid's goal at 4:56 of the third was the difference.

“We made a mistake,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “Games are made up of mistakes, and sometimes you can get away with it and sometimes you can’t. Right now, we can’t get out of our own way.”

Much of the drama in the leadup to Friday’s game involved Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was cautioned by the NHL not to wear a specially designed mask for the team’s Native American Heritage night. Fleury ignored the league’s warning and wore the mask during pregame warmups.

Also before the game, the Avalanche announced that defenseman Samuel Girard would be away from the team indefinitely seeking treatment from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Girard said anxiety and depression led to alcohol abuse.


Avalanche: Host Calgary on Saturday.

Wild: At Detroit on Sunday afternoon.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.