Rantanen Extends Hot Start, Leads Avalanche past Wild 4-2

DENVER — Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

Rantanen, who missed training camp and the preseason before agreeing to a contract with Colorado last weekend, has three goals in two games.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare got his first goal with Colorado and Gabriel Landeskog scored the go-ahead goal late in the second. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists, and Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves.

Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist, and Zach Parise got his first of the season for the Wild, who have lost their first two games.

Parise tied it midway through the second, but Landeskog put Colorado back in front when he tipped in a pass from Rantanen at 18:54 of the second.

With Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk off for an extra skater, Ryan Graves scored into the empty net with 39.1 seconds left.

Dubnyk had 28 saves.

Rantanen and Bellemare scored 1:27 apart early in the first period. Rantanen’s goal came just 23 seconds after Colorado went on the power play.

Colorado Avalanche Mikko Rantanen
Colorado Avalanche left wing Mikko Rantanen (AP Photo/Craig Lassig, File)

Suter cut the lead in half at 10:17 of the first, and Parise’s power-play goal at 8:31 of the second period got the Wild even.

Minnesota had two breakaways, but couldn’t convert either. Grubauer made a glove save on Ryan Donato’s backhander in the first period, and Ryan Hartman’s chance just ahead of the Colorado defence went wide right in the second.

NOTES: Colorado C Nazem Kadri was hit in the left skate by a teammate’s shot late in the second period and he went to straight to the locker room. He returned for the third period. … Dubnyk played in his 300th game for the franchise. He ranks second behind Niklas Backstrom (409) for goaltenders. … Avalanche LW Matt Calvert played in his 500th NHL game. … Minnesota LW Zach Parise has 37 points in 37 career regular-season games against Colorado.

Up Next

Wild: Plays at Winnipeg on Thursday.

Avalanche: Hosts Boston on Thursday.


More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Michael Kelly, The Associated Press