Wild beat Avalanche 3-0 Saturday in St. Paul

Posted at 1:40 PM, Dec 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-06 15:40:20-05

Darcy Kuemper stopped all nine shots he faced in relief of injured Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Saturday night.

Dubnyk left a scoreless game with a lower-body injury midway through the second period after making 11 saves. Kuemper kept the shutout intact to earn his first win of the season.

Matt Dumba opened the scoring on a big slap shot with 6:33 left in the second period, then Justin Fontaine and Jason Pominville scored in the third.

Dubnyk sparked Minnesota to a playoff berth last year and is fourth among all goaltenders in minutes played this season.

Neither Wild goalie was challenged much. Minnesota controlled play and outshot Colorado 44-20, and Semyon Varlamov made a season-high 41 saves for the Avalanche.

Kuemper hasn't been called on much this season, as Dubnyk has played 23 of Minnesota's 26 games. But Dubnyk pulled up after a shot by Colorado's Jarome Iginla in the second period and appeared to clutch his left knee. Dubnyk slid across the crease on the play.

At the next stoppage in play, Dubnyk gingerly tried some side-to-side movements in front of the Wild bench before leaving.

Kuemper has played in just four games all season. His last appearance was Nov. 28 against the Dallas Stars, when Minnesota lost in overtime as part of a frustrating stretch which prompted a blow up from coach Mike Yeo at the next practice.

The Wild have won three straight games since and have allowed one goal. Minnesota has also killed eight of nine short-handed situations.

Colorado had won four of its past six games but was shut out for the second time this season.

The Wild have controlled the series between the two division rivals by winning six of the seven games between them the past two seasons. This game was the first meeting since Minnesota won 5-4 in the season opener. The two teams play Monday night in Colorado.

NOTES: Minnesota carries three goaltenders on its roster. Veteran Niklas Backstrom has been a healthy scratch for every game this season. He's the franchise's all-time leader in wins, shutouts and games played by a goaltender. ... Colorado finished a four-game road trip, playing their league-high 17th road game. The Avalanche are 8-9 on the road and just 3-6-1 at home. ... Colorado D Francois Beauchemin skated in his 700th career game. His first NHL game was on Feb. 27, 2003 against the Wild for the Montreal Canadiens. He has 62 career goals and 170 assists.