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Preview: Wild @ Avalanche, Kuemper's turn to shine

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Darcy Kuemper gets a chance to hold down the net with Dubnyk shelved.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After defeating Colorado in St. Paul on Saturday night, the Wild head into Denver to complete a home and home with the Avalanche. Minnesota will be without the services of Devan Dubnyk who sustained a lower-body injury in Saturday's win. Darcy Kuemper will start in the meantime and Niklas Backstrom is active too for the first time all season. Since the beginning of last season, the Wild are 6-1-0 against Colorado (all decided in regulation) – outscoring the Avalanche, 22-8.

On Saturday Matt Dumba scored another goal and two other defensemen had a point in the 3-0 win. Its no secret the Wild have had consistent play from their D over the years, but this year they are scoring at a high rate. Minnesota defensemen have totaled 57 points this season (15-42=57), ranking sixth in the NHL in total points from blueliners. Check out the piece by fellow HW contributor Alec on that exact topic from earlier today.

The Wild have allowed just one goal over its three game winning streak. Also Darcy Kuemper has stopped all 55 shots he has faced in his last three games against Colorado, dating back to last years season opener. Patrick Roy said Semyon Varlamov will start again for Colorado tonight. Varlamov is 8-10-1 with a 2.43 GAA, a .925 SV% and one shutout in 19 games (18 starts) against Minnesota. Puck drop is at 8pm at the Pepsi Center.