Colorado blanked the red-hot Anaheim Ducks 3-0 Wednesday night to give them 74 points on the season with 13 games to play. Entering tonight's Wild-Oilers game in St. Paul, the Wild have 72 points with 15 games to play.
Needless to say, the push for the postseason is on as the Wild and Avs battle for one final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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Minnesota will be shorthanded tonight; goalie Devan Dubnyk is out with an illness, per the Star Tribune, and forward Jason Pominville is out with a lower-body injury. Michael Russo reports that Pominville didn't join the team for today's morning skate.
Pominville's absence can't be underestimated. In his last 11 games he's scored 5 goals and racked up 12 points, not counting his shootout winner against Buffalo on Saturday. The Wild are 7-4 in those games – all coached by John Torchetti.
With Pominville out there's more pressure on Zach Parise to bust out of his scoring slump. He has just one goal in his past 18 games equaling the longest scoring slump of his career since he was a rookie in 2005.
"It always is (tough)," Parise told the Pioneer Press. "But you’re creating stuff, you try and make the right plays at the right time. I’ve missed a couple good chances the last few games. That’s the way it goes. But, yeah, it’s been tough."
While Parise patiently waits to score, fans will impatiently be scoreboard watching. Colorado's final 13 games are filled with playoff teams and tough road games. They close the month of March with eight games – six of them on the road.
- Avs home games in March: Flyers, Wild
- Avs road games in March: Jets, Canucks, Flames, Oilers, Predators, Blues
The Wild play 11 more games this month (in 21 days) and after tonight's home date with Edmonton they play three straight on the road against Montreal, Ottawa and New Jersey.