ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-1 win over the Wild on Tuesday night in a game that had playoff implications in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Tyson Barrie, Tyson Jost and Ian Cole scored for Colorado, which won its second straight game.
Minnesota remained one point behind the idle Arizona Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, while the Avalanche got within one point of the Wild and two of Arizona. Colorado also has a game in hand on Minnesota.
The result also clinched a playoff berth for the San Jose Sharks, who are second in the Western Conference.
Zach Parise scored and Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 shots for Minnesota.
Colorado struck first with a tally by Barrie, his third goal in his last two games. Barrie fired a centering pass from Carl Soderberg to beat Dubnyk with 14:57 left in the first period.
The Wild evened things early in the second period on a power play. Parise deflected a shot from Ryan Suter that slipped past Grubauer 1:52 into the period. It was Parise’s team-leading 26th goal of the season.
The Avalanche appeared to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second on a wraparound goal by Colin Wilson. But the goal was waved off for goaltender interference after Minnesota challenged the play.
Colorado went ahead minutes later when Jost found space on a breakaway and fired a backhand shot past Dubnyk. It was Jost’s first goal in 10 games and his fourth since being recalled from the minors in mid-February.
Minnesota had several chances to tie the game in the second, including a few looks by Jason Zucker. The Wild forward missed a wide-open net on a backhander and had another shot just miss the net as it slid through the crease.
Grubauer made perhaps his best save of the night with just over eight minutes to play in the third period. The Avs goalie blanked Minnesota’s Pontus Aberg to preserve Colorado’s lead.
Cole added an empty netter with 1:54 remaining after Minnesota pulled Dubnyk.
NOTES: The Wild signed G Mat Robson and F Alexander Khovanov to entry-level contracts. Khovanov was Minnesota’s third-round draft pick in 2018. Robson, a free agent, finished his junior season at the University of Minnesota. … Colorado’s Matt Calvert and Minnesota’s J.T. Brown dropped the gloves for a second-period fight. … Both teams won two games in four total meetings this season.
Avalanche: At Dallas on Thursday night.
Wild: At Washington on Friday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports