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Nichushkin scores OT winner in return to lineup, Avalanche beat Wild 2-1

Morning headlines from March 8, 2024
Morning headlines from March 8, 2024 05:27

Valeri Nichushkin scored a power-play goal 2:32 into overtime in his return to the lineup after a two-month absence, Alexandar Georgiev stopped a penalty shot late in regulation and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Friday night.

Nichushkin knocked in the winner shortly after Kirill Kaprizov drew a penalty for hooking.

Nathan MacKinnon extended his home point streak to 32 games with two assists. He's tied with Guy Lafleur (1978-79) for the third-longest home point run in NHL history.

Nichushkin returned after receiving care through the player assistance program. It was his first game since Jan. 10.

Artturi Lehkonen had a goal 42 seconds into the game for the Avalanche, who made a flurry of deals at the trade deadline. New additions Casey Mittelstadt, Brandon Duhaime, Yakov Trenin and Sean Walker were scattered throughout the lineup.

Devon Toews scored with around 2:30 remaining, but the Wild challenged for offside. After a review, the goal was taken off the board.

Georgiev made 29 saves. He also thwarted Mats Zuccarello's penalty shot with 5:55 remaining. Georgiev was sprawled out when Zuccarello sent his shot wide. Zuccarello was awarded a penalty shot after Andrew Cogliano sent a stick laying on the ice into the Wild forward.

Both teams struggled on the power play, going a combined 1 for 8.

Brock Faber had a goal for a Minnesota team that showed few signs of fatigue after a 5-2 win the night before in Arizona. The Wild remain on the fringe of the playoff picture.

Colorado entered the game as the highest-scoring team in the league, averaging 3.70 goals-per-game. But Filip Gustavsson turned in big save after big save, with an assist to a friendly post as the Avalanche clanged a few shots off the iron.

Lehkonen scored early on a no-look pass from MacKinnon. It was MacKinnon's 70th assist of the season. The last Colorado player to have 70 or more assists in a season was Peter Forsberg (77 in 2002-03).

Faber tied it in the second on a wide-open wrist shot. He now has 37 points this season, the third-highest mark for a rookie in Wild history. He trails only Kaprizov (51 in 2020-21) and Matt Boldy (39 in 2021-22).

For Duhaime, his first game in an Avalanche sweater happened to be against his former Wild teammates. He was a fourth-round pick by Minnesota in 2016 and spent his career with the team.

"Definitely a weird experience for sure," Duhaime said.


Wild: Begin a three-game homestand Sunday against Nashville.

Avalanche: Start a four-game trip Tuesday night in Calgary.



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