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Avalanche blow by Wild in season opener

Colorado outshot the Wild 40-21.

It's as cliche as it gets, but it's also true that the Colorado Avalanche were bigger, stronger and faster the Minnesota Wild in Thursday night's season opener in Denver. 

Colorado used a pair of empty-net goals in the final two minutes to secure a 4-1 win over the Wild, who just as easily could've been dumped by 3-4 goals even without the empty-netters had Devan Dubnyk not been sensational in goal. 

Dubnyk finished with 36 saves on a night when the Avs carried a 32-13 advantage in shots on goal through two periods and a final tally of 40 – 19 more than the Wild. 

"When we had a sense of urgency in the third period, we were the quicker team," head coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. "When you’re standing around watching plays and you’re not moving your legs, you’re in trouble. I thought in the first two periods why there was a great shot discrepancy was because we were standing around and watching. In the third period, when we were being proactive and going after them, we were coming up with pucks and getting good opportunities. We just couldn’t hit the net."

The worst of the worst for the Wild was probably the line featuring Joel Eriksson Ek, Charlie Coyle and Jordan Greenway.

According to The Athletic's Michael Russo, that trio surrendered a combined 47 shots (at times not on the ice together) while producing a total of just five shots. 

One player who looked like his old self was Zach Parise, who got the scoring started midway through the first period with a vintage play where he crashed the net and took a beautiful backhanded feed from Mikko Koivu. 

"I felt great, really. Made some good decisions with the puck and had a lot more opportunities to get another one," Parise said. "Wish I could have found that other one and tied it up for us."

"I felt great, really. Made some good decisions with the puck and had a lot more opportunities to get another one," Parise said. "Wish I could have found that other one and tied it up for us."

The Wild return to St. Paul where they have their home opener Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

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