ST. PAUL, Minn. — Marek Zidlicky scored the shootout winner over Peter Budaj’s glove, and Nick Schultz scored the tying goal with less than two minutes left in regulation in the Minnesota Wild ‘s 3-2 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
Mikko Koivu and Zidlicky both scored in the shootout to give Minnesota a crucial two points.
Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots for the win and stopped Milan Hejduk and Marek Svatos following Wojtek Wolski’s shootout goal. The win moved the Wild past St. Louis and Edmonton and into a tie with Dallas for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot — with all three teams still in action late Tuesday.
Peter Budaj finished with 26 saves but was denied the victory after winning three of his four previous games. Ryan Smyth scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season and Cody McLeod scored his first goal since Feb. 5, but Colorado dropped to 3-8-1 in its last 12 contests.
Minnesota, playing at home after nine of 10 on the road, improved to 3-5-4 in its last 11 games but avenged a 2-1 shootout loss to the Avalanche in Denver on March 12. The home points are even more critical considering the Wild returns to the road for five of its next six games.