Mauldin’s big night lifts Avalanche vs Wild

Greg Mauldin spent last season with the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers but was the highest scoring player in 11 NHL games Saturday night

BRIDGEPORT, CT - JANUARY 9: Greg Mauldin #20 o...
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Greg Mauldin stepped up his game when the Avalanche needed him most Saturday night.

After forwards Daniel Winnik & Chris Stewart went down with early injuries, Mauldin saw a lot of ice time versus a Wild club that has stymied Colorado in recent seasons.  The last two Avs-Wild meetings at Pepsi Center played out to twin 1-0 shutout losses for the Avalanche.

This time Colorado got on the board early one minute into the game on Paul Stastny’s bad-angle wrister.  But two Wild goals closed out the first period, and the Avalanche started to struggle against Minnesota’s brutal defense.

Enter Mauldin, who took a slick pass in transition from Stastny to the bank through a crowd of Wild defenders.  It was only the second goal of Mauldin’s brief NHL career, but he would follow quickly with another tally five minutes later.

Just 32 seconds after Milan Hejduk put home a snapper from the slot, Mauldin wrangled a Ryan Wilson slap-shot off the end boards and finished top-shelf over a diving Niklas Backstrom.

Colorado never looked back, and Mauldin got the good assists on third period goals by David Jones & Matt Duchene scored less than two minutes apart.

The Wild hung in with goals at the end of the second & third periods, but Colorado’s season-high seven goals were too much.

Greg Mauldin had played in only seven games for the Blue Jackets (6) and Islanders (1) before coming to Colorado.  He played well enough in pre-season camp to earn himself fourth-line ice time this season, logging a goal and two assists before tonight’s game.

Final score: Wild 4, Avalanche 7

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