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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 11th (All times Eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (27-12-5) at Minnesota Wild (24-17-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild look to stretch their winning streak to a season-high five games in a row on Saturday night as they play host to the Colorado Avalanche.

It has been a solid turnaround for the Wild over the past week as they had lost six in a row before matching their longest winning streak of the campaign first accomplished from Nov. 9-17. And it has come with goaltender Josh Harding (illness) and forwards Mikko Koivu (ankle surgery) and Zach Parise (lower body) out with injury.

Justin Fontaine was the latest player to step up as he notched his first career hat trick in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. He scored twice in the third period after Kyle Brodziak broke a 1-1 tie with his fourth goal of the campaign 3:21 into the final frame.

With 11 goals, Fontaine is now third on the Wild behind Jason Pominville (18) and Parise (15).

"He's paid his dues and he's just done nothing but show up to the rink everyday and doesn't take anything for granted," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said of Fontaine.

Niklas Backstrom made 39 saves and both Nino Niederreiter and Matt Cooke contributed two assists.

The Wild are set to visit the Nashville Predators on Sunday and may split the starts between Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper. Backstrom has been excellent in his career versus the Avalanche, going 24-5-3 with a 2.22 goals against average and four shutouts in 32 games, while Kuemper has never faced them.

Colorado is hitting the road following a successful 4-1-2 homestand, though it did drop a 2-1 overtime decision to the New York Islanders last night to conclude the stay.

Nathan MacKinnon scored in the second period for the Avs and Semyon Varlamov made 22 saves, yielding the game-tying goal 4:28 into the third period and the winner 1:46 into overtime.

"I thought we played a good solid game tonight and deserved two points, not one," said MacKinnon, who with 15 goals is tied with injured San Jose forward Tomas Hertl for the most among rookies this season.

Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly missed a second straight game with a bruised shoulder, while defenseman Nate Guenin sat out for third consecutive time with an ankle injury.

Varlamov could be right back in net for Colorado tonight and is 5-4-1 with a 1.95 GAA in 10 games (9 starts) versus the Wild. He is 1-0-1 in two meetings this season, giving up three goals on 64 shots.

The Avs are 2-0-1 versus the Wild this season, but have lost four of their last six in Minnesota.

01/11 10:32:25 ET

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Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
CHA 97
POR 105
Final
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RICH 72
Final
FLA 1
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7:00pm Tonight
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Final
PHI 91
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Final
ORL 96
GSW 111
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CHA 97
POR 105
Final
CLE 113
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Final
DET 98
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ATL 115
TOR 126
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MIN 86
MIL 103
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UTA 82
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IND 100
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PHO 120
DEN 112
Final
LAL 93
MEM 99
7:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
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7:30pm Tonight
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Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
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EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
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BEL 78
DEN 57
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UMASS 79
NE 54
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JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
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ECU 73
HAW 75
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CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
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CCAR 61
LAMON 48
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OKLA 75
UCLA 65
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ELON 65
UNF 72
 
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UWMIL 66
ORU 69
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WCU 66
CHIST 61
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DUKE 93
FUR 54
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BYU 85
PURD 87
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EVAN 79
USF 72
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COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
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OSU 91
CAMP 64
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LOU 45
CLST 33
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UCF 69
DAVID 95
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IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
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TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
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ND 81
GRAM 54
 
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YALE 82
LAF 60
 
Final
GWU 91
LONG 66
 
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VT 78
UMO 63
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WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
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NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
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NCSU 84
RICH 72
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MINN 61
STJ 70
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JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
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YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
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UAB 43
WISC 72
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CORN 67
CAN 60
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WVU 103
VMI 72
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DEP 74
LEH 86
 
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UNT 67
MVSU 52
 
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MARS 68
MORE 77
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TCU 74
RAD 50
 
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SELA 86
TENT 65
 
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SMU 72
TXSOU 59
 
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UTAH 85
TXPA 48
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LMU 66
UCR 62
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SCAR 89
UNCA 75
 
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SD 86
WAYNEST 69
 
Final
PITT 70
KYST 47
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UWGB 59
FLGC 45
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IOWA 70
NILL 49
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ORST 69
AUB 71
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MONT 75
CARROLLMT 52
 
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SUTAH 64
EKENT 73
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NMST 78
FAM 33
 
Final
WYO 65
STET 41
 
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EWASH 81
NKENTUCKY 60
 
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IDST 57
WLVRN 60
 
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GEOR 66
UF 65
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GONZ 88
UGA 76
 
Final
NIOWA 61
NW 42
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CAL 72
CPSL 52
Final
UCD 77
UTST 70
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SDST 59
ARZ 61
 
Final
NDAK 75
ALAST 68
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CSNO 55
PORST 63
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AKAN 62
PAC 71
 
Final
OKST 73
TULSA 58
 
2:00am Today
COLST
MIZST
12:00pm Today
TENN
SCU
 
12:00pm Today
RMU
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1:00pm Today
BUT
OKLA
 
2:00pm Today
BRO
PEAY
 
2:00pm Today
UTEP
PRIN
 
2:30pm Today
CHAT
CCAR
 
2:30pm Today
RIU
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3:30pm Today
USCU
FIU
 
3:30pm Today
GEOR
WISC
 
4:00pm Today
USB
LIU
 
4:30pm Today
XAV
SDU
 
5:00pm Tonight
INDST
ILL
 
6:00pm Tonight
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CSFU
 
6:00pm Tonight
STJOE
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6:30pm Tonight
RIDE
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7:00pm Tonight
UNC
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8:30pm Tonight
WMICH
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8:30pm Tonight
GT
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9:00pm Tonight
PVU
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9:30pm Tonight
MERC
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9:30pm Tonight
UF
UAB
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASH
SJST
 
11:59pm Tonight
MEM
BAY
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
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Final
NYI 3
WAS 2
Final
BUF 1
WIN 2
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FLA 1
CAR 0
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TAM 4
NYR 3
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DET 5
PHI 2
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PIT 4
TOR 3
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MIN 0
LOS 4
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COL 2
CHI 3
Final
SJS 0
CAL 2
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
EDM
 
12:30pm Today
DET
CHI
4:30pm Today
DAL
PHI
8:30pm Tonight
SFX
SEA