|Date of game: 10/9/2014
Recap: Minnesota vs. Colorado
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Zach Parise posted a goal and two assists while Darcy Kuemper notched a 16-save shutout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in the season opener for both clubs.
Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville each had a goal and an assist, while Nino Niederreiter and Jared Spurgeon each scored for the Wild, who totaled 98 points last season to grab the Western Conference's top wild card spot.
"We did a lot of the things that we set out to do," said Parise. "I think it was a combination of things along with that they didn't play very well and I think they would say that."
Semyon Varlamov was tagged for five goals on 38 shots in the loss for the Avalanche, who won the Central Division last season with 112 points. Reto Berra made 10 saves in the third period in relief of Varlamov.
"The second period they were putting shots on (Varlamov)," said Gabriel Landeskog. "They came out hard and deserved to win. We're not going to hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves."
The last time these two teams had faced each other was in the opening round of last season's playoffs, which the Wild won in seven games.
These two clubs will meet again in Colorado on Saturday.
Pominville scored with 5:06 to play in the first period and the Wild exploded for four more in the second to take control of the contest.
It was a 2-0 game just 4:37 into the second when Parise sent a quick pass from the left circle to Spurgeon, who slipped a soft shot between the pads of Varlamov in front.
Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Minnesota made it a 3-0 game after a faceoff win in the neutral zone saw the puck pushed ahead by Mikael Granlund. Parise caught up to the disc and his first shot was stopped by Varlamov, as was his second. Parise, though, got the third in for his first of the season.
Niederreiter's first of the season was sort of a fluke, as the puck came to the left side of the net and Varlamov tried to stick it away, but it popped over him and in for a 4-0 game at 13:21.
Suter's one-timer from the left circle off a feed from Parise made it a 5-0 game with 3:02 left in the middle frame.Game Notes
Colorado had taken four of five from Minnesota in the regular season prior to
the playoff series loss ... It was the third career shutout for Kuemper ...
Granlund had two assists in the contest ... Colorado was 0-for-4 on the power
play while Minnesota went 0-for-2.