DENVER – Victor Rask considered passing when he heard teammate Kevin Fiala shouting for the puck. Instead, the center decided to take the shot.
It turned out to be the right move.
Rask scored a go-ahead goal 1:17 after Mats Zuccarello tied the game, and the Minnesota Wild rallied past the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 on Friday night.
Devan Dubnyk made 14 of his 40 saves in the third period for the Wild, who have taken two of the three games against Colorado.
It took a third-period comeback for a team that struggled in those situations early in the season. But Minnesota has gone 13-4-4 since Nov. 12 and moved up in the Central Division standings.
“When you believe you can come back, and you have to have that belief before you can do it, I don’t think we had it at the beginning of the year,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But I do think the guys never think they’re out of it at this stage.”
Eric Staal, Carson Soucy, Ryan Suter and Brad Hunt also scored for Minnesota, which sent the Avalanche to another disappointing home loss.
Matt Calvert had two goals, and Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for Colorado. Pavel Francouz had 27 saves for the Avalanche, who have lost their last three home games despite holding a third-period lead in each.
“We have a one-goal lead with 10 minutes to go in the game and again it’s a couple defensive breakdowns on both of those goals that give them the lead,” Landeskog said.
Calvert’s second goal of the game 1:33 into the third period gave Colorado a 4-3 lead before Zuccarello tied it with his 10th of the season at 10:41.
Rask then stole a puck at center ice, skated into the Avalanche zone with Fiala to his right, his stick up and ready for a pass. Rask instead sent a wrister to the far side of the net to give Minnesota the lead at 11:58.
“I was looking at Kevin there for a little bit, he was screaming for the puck, but I decided to shoot,” Rask said.
Colorado pulled Francouz with less than two minutes left and Suter scored into an empty net at 19:48.
“Points are so valuable and we’ve let some slip away lately,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “We have to make sure we’re digging in to get them back. We’ve got to get our game in order quick.”
It was tied 3-3 heading into the third after a couple of calls went Colorado’s way.
Midway through the second period, Minnesota had a goal by Joel Eriksson Ek taken away when Bednar successfully challenged that Marcus Foligno was offside.
After Hunt scored a power-play goal that gave the Wild a 3-2 lead, the Avalanche tied it on MacKinnon’s goal with 48 seconds left in the period, a goal that Dubnyk argued futilely was kicked in by the center.
“I don’t know how you can call that a skating motion,” Dubnyk said. “I mean, there’s a follow through. Doesn’t matter now.”
Minnesaota took a 2-0 lead on goals by Soucy and Staal in the first 9:22 of the first, but Colorado rallied and tied it when Calvert and Landeskog scored 46 seconds apart.
Maple Leafs 5, Devils 4 (OT)
In Newark, New Jersey, Devils defenseman Damon Severson backhanded the puck into his own net in overtime, gifting Toronto a victory over the hosts and its season-best sixth straight win
Severson got the puck after the Maple Leafs’ William Nylander lost control while skating toward New Jersey’s net. The 25-year-old Severson inadvertently beat goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood while trying to clear the puck out of danger. Nylander was credited with the goal.
In Other Games
Rangers 5, Hurricanes 3
Capitals 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT)
Bruins 3, Sabres 0
Blues 5, Jets 4 (OT)
Penguins 5, Predators 2
Blackhawks 5, Islanders 2
Flames 5, Oilers 1
Ducks 4, Golden Knights 3
Kings 3, Sharks 2 (OT)