Minnesota Wild teammates swarm Minnesota Wild ...
Andy Cross, The Denver Post
Minnesota Wild teammates swarm Minnesota Wild right wing Nino Niederreiter #22 after Niederreiter scored a goal against Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard #31 in the third period at the Pepsi Center April 6, 2017 in Denver. The wild won 4-3.


Spotlight on: Nino Niederreiter. The Wild forward is the only Swiss-born player to produce 20 goals in an NHL season, and he has done that in each of his last three seasons. Niederreiter, 25, is on a scoring spree, with a five-game goal streak, four-game power-play goal streak and seven-game point streak. With a goal against the Avalanche, he will tie Brian Rolston for the longest goal streak in Minnesota history. Since returning from an ankle injury Oct. 31, Niederreiter has eight goals in 12 games.


Avalanche: Goalie Semyon Varlamov (illness) practiced Thursday but didn’t travel with the team. Jonathan Bernier will get his third consecutive start in net Friday and Andrew Hammond will again serve as backup. Varlamov is the likely starter Saturday against the visiting Calgary Flames. … The Avs had Thursday afternoon off before boarding a charter flight to the Twin Cities. Defenseman Erik Johnson, a native of Bloomington, Minn., flew commercial ahead of the team to spend more time with his family. … Center Nathan MacKinnon, who assisted on each of Colorado’s goals in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Dallas, has 20 points (six goals) in his last 10 games. He is the first Avs player to produce 20 points in a 10-game stretch since Joe Sakic from March 20 to April 9, 2006. Sakic, now the Avs’ general manager, had seven goals and 13 assists in his 20-game stretch. MacKinnon has a league-high 13 assists this month, and his 17 points are tied for second.

Wild: It has points in six of its last seven games, going 5-1-1 since Nov. 9. … Mikael Granlund has scored four goals in his last two games and is riding a nine-game points streak. … Goalie Devan Dubnyk is 5-0-1 in his last six starts, posting a 2.00 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and three shutouts during that stretch. Since his career debut with Minnesota on Jan. 15, 2015, he is 108-60-15 with a 2.22 GAA, .923 SP and 18 shutouts — leading the NHL in games played and shutouts. … Sweden-born defenseman Gustav Olofsson grew up in the Denver area and played for Colorado College as a freshman in 2013-14. … The Wild is on a three-game winning streak over the Avs and has points in 12 of their last 15 meetings, going 11-3-1 since the start of 2014-15. Minnesota has six shutout victories and has outscored the Avs 46-22 during that stretch.

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