Late goal lifts Avs past Wild |

Late goal lifts Avs past Wild

AP Photo Colorado Avalanche's Brett McLean, left, holds up forward progress for Minnesota Wild's Derek Boogaard, second from left, and Brent Burns, top right, as the three and Avalanche's Kurt Sauer, right, navigate behind the net in first period NHL game Thursday.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Joe Sakic’s goal with 5:44 remaining lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

After Todd White tied the score earlier in the third period, the Wild put pressure on Avalanche goalie David Aebischer and had several prime chances – as they did early in the game – to take the lead.

But Aebischer, who has an 11-3-2 record since the new year began and an 8-2 career mark against Minnesota, didn’t budge – helping Colorado improve to 12-3-3 in its last 18 games. He made 33 saves.

Brad Richardson also scored for the Avalanche, who stiff-armed the Wild’s attempt to move closer in the Western Conference playoff race. Colorado moved ahead of idle Edmonton into sixth place with 68 points. Minnesota, with 60 points, remained stuck in 10th – five points behind Los Angeles for the final spot.A tripping penalty on Rob Blake with 1:19 left gave the Wild a late power play. Goalie Manny Fernandez was pulled a few seconds later, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage. But in a fitting way to wrap up the evening’s offensive failures, they were off target with several passes and never had any great looks among their five shots on net during the final flurry.

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