DENVER (AP) — For a brief moment Authentic Robert Woods Jersey , the Minnesota Wild lost track of the super speedy Nathan MacKinnon.That’s all it took. MacKinnon had a tap-in goal off a nifty pass from Mikko Rantanen to give Colorado the lead, Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 shots and the Avalanche beat the Wild 4-1 on Thursday night in the opener for both teams.“His vision is awesome,” MacKinnon said of his linemate. “I just drove the net and Mikko made a great play.”Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk didn’t have much of a chance on MacKinnon’s second-period goal that gave Colorado a 2-1 advantage. Rantanen skated down the left side and sent a pass through a sea of sticks to MacKinnon, who tapped it in before Dubnyk had a chance to fully turn his head.“He was in a good place and he made a good play,” Dubnky said.Wild coach Bruce Boudreau offered another explanation.“It’s MacKinnon. He’s going to get a lot of goals like that,” Boudreau said.MacKinnon picked up right where he left off from last season, when he tallied 39 goals and 58 assists on his way to finishing second in the Hart Trophy vote. He led the team in shots Thursday with eight. Carl Soderberg scored, while Rantanen and J.T. Compher added empty-net goals for the Avalanche Robert Woods Jersey Elite , who moved to 15-5-3 in home openers since moving to town from Quebec.Varlamov returned to net after missing the playoffs last season with a knee injury he suffered late in the regular season. He made his eighth opening-night start in a burgundy-and-blue sweater, surpassing Patrick Roy for the most by an Avalanche goaltender. This also was Varlamov’s 400th career NHL game.“He’s grown so much as a goalie,” MacKinnon said. “His mindset is he can play a low-shot game and stay sharp, and he was great.”Colorado thought it had a two-goal lead when Colin Wilson scored 1:36 into the third after knocking in a puck out of the air. The goal was reviewed and disallowed after it was determined Wilson’s left glove batted the puck in.No matter, Varlamov protected things with save after save. None bigger than stopping an Eric Staal wrist shot with his right shoulder on a 2-on-1 with just under 5 minutes remaining.Rantanen added an empty-net goal with 1:53 remaining and Compher another in the waning seconds to seal the victory.Colorado outshot the Wild 40-21. Zach Parise gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead on a backhand pass from Mikko Koivu early in the first period. Parise missed the opening 39 games a season ago due to a back ailment that required surgery. After steadily working his way back into form, Parise suffered a broken sternum in the playoffs.Minnesota is coming off a season in which it posted 101 points before losing to Winnipeg in the first round of the playoffs.“There was some sloppiness that’s not going to be seen in game 20,” Boudreau said. “Pucks bouncing over the sticks and over-skating the puck and things of that nature. … I think they did know how quick the pace was going to be, faster than the preseason , but took us a while to get up to it.”As for the Avalanche, general manager Joe Sakic has modest goals this season after his team returned to the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. Their average age this season is 26.3. They ended last season at 25.8.“Our goal is to make the playoffs, but the most important thing for us is to see the growth of this group,” Sakic said. “We’re excited to see who makes that next jump.”NOTES: Wild F Marcus Foligno was tripped by D Tyson Barrie late in the second period. Foligno went to the bench favoring his left leg but returned a few minutes later. … F Vladislav Kamenev (lower body) and D Anton Lindholm (upper body) were taken off injured reserve and reassigned to the Colorado Eagles of the AHL. … Avs F Sheldon Dries made his NHL debut. He had two shots. … Soderberg also had an assist.UP NEXT:Minnesota: Starts a three-game homestand Saturday against Las Vegas.Colorado: Hosts Philadelphia on Saturday. CALGARY, Alberta — The Nashville Predators are struggling on the road and they will try to get their act together Saturday to fix the problem.The Predators have lost four straight away from home entering Saturday’s game against the surging Calgary Flames.Nashville gave up four straight goals and couldn’t complete a comeback Thursday in a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Article continues below ...“It’s tough, but we’ll bounce back,” Nashville’s Colton Sissons told reporters in Vancouver. “We’ll be just fine.”Calgary may be without captain Mark Giordano, who faced a disciplinary hearing Friday for a knee-on-knee hit with Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu on Thursday. The hit drew a minor penalty for tripping.The Predators are 6-4 in their past 10 games and had been caught by the Flames and Colorado Avalanche for first place in the Western Conference through 29 games.The Predators are hurting. Four of their mainstays are out with injuries and coach Peter Laviolette told the Tennessean on Thursday that they all will remain out for at least one more game.“There’s nobody coming back tomorrow Youth Myles Jack Jersey ,” Laviolette said Thursday. “I don’t have the answer to that. You’re not going to see anybody in Calgary. Those guys are on the mend right now.”Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, P.K. Subban and Kyle Turris are all on injured reserve.Subban has missed the past 11 games with an undisclosed injury. Forsberg, the team’s leading scorer, was placed on injured reserve Dec. 1, also with an undisclosed injury. Arvidsson is out until January with a broken thumb and Turris went on IR on Nov. 25 with an undisclosed injury.Calgary is waiting for Nashville after a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday that leaves the Flames 8-1-1 in their past 10 games. Thursday’s game likely was costly for the Flames after second-line center Mikael Backlund was injured in the final minute with a possible concussion. He was leveled by Wild defensemen Matt Dumb with a stiff open ice shoulder check that didn’t sit well with the Flames. Ryan Lomberg skated the length of ice and jumped Dumba. A recent call-up from the American Hockey league, Lomberg was handed a one-game suspension Friday for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of a game.Coach Bill Peters drew a $10,000 fine for sending Lomberg on the ice for the purpose of instigating a fight.Elias Lindholm scored his 14th and 15th goals for the Flames. Mike Smith stopped 31 saves for this second shutout of the season and appears to have gotten back on track after a horrible start to his season that prompted calls for him to be dropped to No. 2 behind David Rittich.“I think the guys have bailed me out a lot this year , so I think it’s nice to make some saves and contribute on the team’s success,” the 36-year-old Smith told reporters.Lindholm was Calgary’s key acquisition in the summer, coming over from Peters’ former team, the Carolina Hurricanes, in the Dougie Hamilton trade. He’s second behind Sean Monhanan’s 17 goals on the team.“Lindholm does a good job; he gets it on and off his stick quick. He’s been shooting the puck really well and played great on the penalty kill,” Peters said.

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