ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon had a purpose and two assists, Justus Annunen made a career-high 44 saves…

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon had a purpose and two assists, Justus Annunen made a career-high 44 saves and the Colorado Avalanche moved nearer to first place within the Central Division with a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night time.

Jonathan Drouin scored twice and added an help because the playoff-bound Avalanche bounced again from a vexing loss Monday at Columbus, final within the Eastern Conference. Second-place Colorado is three factors behind idle Dallas, which leads the Central Division and Western Conference with 105 factors.

Meanwhile, the Wild’s slim postseason chances are high fading.

Artturi Lehkonen and Mikko Rantanen additionally scored for the Avs.

Annunen thwarted probability after probability in his sixteenth profession sport. The native of Finland gained a Stanley Cup with Colorado whereas serving because the crew’s backup goalie for a part of the 2022 playoffs.

Vinni Lettieri and Declan Chisholm scored for Minnesota. Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson stopped 29 pictures.

Colorado took a 2-1 lead within the first interval on targets by Lehkonen and Drouin.

Drouin’s purpose with 7:32 left got here eight seconds into an influence play.

Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov had gone off for tripping, which drew the ire of the Wild bench; teammate Joel Eriksson Ek appeared to get tripped on the similar time.

Drouin added his second purpose of the night time 43 seconds into the second interval, deflecting in MacKinnon’s shot from the purpose to make it 3-1. Chisholm answered with a power-play purpose with 9:50 left within the center interval.

MacKinnon, second within the NHL in factors, made it 4-2 at 6:32 of the third and Rantanen added an empty-net purpose with 1:28 left.

Minnesota started the night time eight factors behind Los Angeles for the second Western Conference wild card. The Kings performed later at last-place San Jose.

The Wild have seven video games remaining.

UP NEXT

Avalanche: Play at Edmonton on Friday night time.

Wild: Will host Winnipeg on Saturday.

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