Kobasew gets hat trick as Wild beat Avalanche 5-3
“It’s nice to contribute. You want to be a part of it, especially offensively,” said Kobasew, who scored an empty-net goal with 17.9 seconds left to complete his second career hat trick. His first was Jan. 24, 2006, at Colorado.
It was his second game back after missing the previous four with an upper-body injury.
Known as a grinder with a scoring touch, Kobasew was acquired in a trade with the Bruins Oct. 18. He had 21 and 22 goals the past two seasons with Boston.
“He had a couple of other opportunities almost from the same area of the ice, in the middle. He just wasn’t able to get the shots off. Tonight he was rewarded with two really nice goals,” said coach Todd Richards.
They probably aren’t about to be split apart anytime soon.
“I’m just trying to pick up on their tendencies and get them the puck,” Kobasew said. “Those guys are the skill guys and I let them make their plays and just try to find a spot where I can be open and be an option for them.”
So far, so good—albeit in just two games.
“He’s done a real good job trying to talk to us, try and feel us out, try to get into those positions where we can take advantage of his shot,” Brunette said. “If he can get himself into those positions he’s going to get a lot of chances.”
Minnesota was far more aggressive in the final period, especially on its forecheck, which led to numerous quality chances.
Brunette finally broke through after taking a pass across the crease from Koivu and lifting the puck over a sprawled Craig Anderson(notes). It was his team-leading ninth goal and sixth on the power play. Minnesota, which was 2 for 20 on the power play in its last five games, scored twice with the man-advantage.
Kobasew set up his first goal early in the second.
He knocked Quincey off the puck—and his skates—with a hit in the right circle. Enforcer Derek Boogaard(notes) corralled the loose puck, skated below the goal line and backhanded a pass to Kobasew alone in the slot, where he beat Anderson on the stick side. It was Boogaard’s first point since Dec. 19, 2008.
After Stastny scored on a rebound to tie the game, Kobasew took a feed from Brunette and again beat Anderson from the slot for a 3-2 lead at the 6-minute mark.
Colorado nearly scored again when a shot from Cody McLeod(notes) was rolling on edge along the goal line, but in swiping at the puck in a rebound attempt, T.J. Galiardi(notes) inadvertently knocked the puck back to Backstrom.
“You’ve got to really want to put that puck in, and we didn’t,” said coach Joe Sacco. “Couple of turning points in the game right there.”
Quincey scored on a one-timer and Nolan on a rebound in the first period.
NOTES: Avalanche RW Milan Hejduk(notes) left the game with an apparent knee injury in the third period. … Colorado placed D Adam Foote(notes) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 17 and recalled forward Chris Durno(notes) and defenseman Brain Fahey from AHL Lake Erie. Both were scratches. … Minnesota placed D Brent Burns(notes) (concussion) and RW Martin Havlat(notes) (hamstring) on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 18 and recalled D Jamie Sifers from AHL Houston, but he did not suit up. … Guillaume Latendresse(notes), acquired Monday for Benoit Pouliot(notes), played his first game for Minnesota. … The Wild have played a home game the day after Thanksgiving each year in franchise history, going 6-2-1.