By Wild Road Tripper
Saturday was 'Beanie Night' at Denver's Pepsi Center. Perhaps it should have been proclaimed 'Newbie Night.'
Minnesota Wild newcomers Guillaume Latendresse scored the tying goal, and waiver-wire wonder Andrew Ebbett scored the shootout winner, as the Wild swept the home-and-home weekend series with a 3-2 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night. The Wild victory ended their November with a 5-3-3 mark, and pushed their record to 10-12-3, good for 23 points overall, the same number as idle Anaheim in the NHL's Western Conference.
Latendresse's goal, the Wild's second, came on a rebound of a great set-up by Owen Nolan, who again figured in the scoring. Coach Todd Richards admitted in the post-game interview with the media, that Nolan was not supposed to be with Latendresse and Kyle Brodziak on that shift, but that he jumped over the boards, out of turn. The Wild are probably very happy Nolan did.
Mikko Koivu also scored in the shootout, as the tempo of the game swung dramatically following Eric Belanger's second period goal, his 5th, to open the scoring early in the second as the Wild fought all the way back from a 2-0 Avs first period lead.
Josh Harding, who started for the first time in over two weeks, was brilliant, stopping 20 of 22 Colorado shots for his first win of the season (Harding is now 1-3). Harding won despite being inadvertantly slew-footed by his own defenseman, Kim Johnsson, which directly led to the Avs' second goal. Despite the inadvertant move, Johnsson had an OK night, being the only non-goalie on the ice with over 31 minutes of ice time.
The Wild now come home to face the Nashville Predators, Wednesday night at 7:00 PM Central Time, at Xcel Energy Center (Wild TV: FSNorth; Nashville TV: FSTennessee; XM Radio Ch. 207).