Preview: Avalanche at Wild
The Minnesota Wild attempt to remain perfect this month when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Minnesota ended the 2013 calendar year with six consecutive losses but has been a different team in January, winning each of its four contests. The Wild matched a season high as they skated to their fourth straight win, a 4-1 triumph at Phoenix in which rookie Justin Fontaine registered his first career hat trick.Colorado dropped a 2-1 decision to the New York Islanders in overtime on Friday. Top overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon scored the lone goal for the Avalanche, who have earned at least one point in six of their last seven games (4-1-2). Colorado is 2-0-1 against Minnesota this season, allowing a total of four goals in the three meetings.TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), FSN North (Minnesota)ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (27-12-5): MacKinnon is making a push for the Calder Trophy as he has scored five goals over his last four games. The 18-year-old leads all rookies in scoring with 29 points and pulled even with San Jose's Tomas Hertl for the lead among first-year players in goals with 15. MacKinnon also has scored seven power-play goals, the most by an Avalanche rookie since Matt Duchene netted 10 in 2009-10.ABOUT THE WILD (24-17-5): Minnesota's surge can be deemed surprising, considering the list of players who are sidelined. Captain Mikko Koivu is out with a broken ankle, Zach Parise has been shelved with a foot injury and Josh Harding hasn't played due to illness. Defenseman Jonathon Blum made his debut for the Wild on Thursday after spending the previous three seasons with Nashville.OVERTIME1. Colorado placed Nate Guenin on injured reserve with an ankle injury and recalled fellow D Karl Stollery from Lake Erie.2. Fontaine is the first rookie in franchise history to record a hat trick.3. Avalanche LW Jamie McGinn reached the 100-point plateau Friday with an assist on MacKinnon's goal.PREDICTION: Wild 3, Avalanche 2
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