ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Dany Heatley had two power-play goals on assists from new teammate Zach Parise, and the offense-enhanced Minnesota Wild surged into their much-anticipated season with a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Mikael Granlund also scored for the Wild in his first NHL appearance, Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a late goal in his first game in more than a year and Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves to help make the amped-up crowd of 19,298 forget all about the 119-day lockout that delayed the opener by 3 months.
John Mitchell scored early in his debut for the Avalanche and Cody McLeod cut the lead to one with 14:51 remaining in the game, but they were done in during a penalty-ridden second period that had goalie Semyon Varmalov on his heels.
After Steve Downie was called for cross-checking, Parise's wrist shot bounced off Varmalov's blocker and back to Heatley, who knocked in the rebound and watched it graze the crossbar on the way in. Just 53 seconds late...