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Wild score undeserved point in loss to Avalanche

McClatchy Newspapers

DENVER — Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire saw this coming Thursday morning.

After the morning skate before the Wild faced off with the Colorado Avalanche, Lemaire said, "Hopefully we’ll have better hands tonight than we did this morning."

In one of the Wild’s ugliest, most inept performances of the season — and that’s saying a lot — the Wild lacked any proof they ever played the sport before.

But in the end, the Wild should thank its lucky stars it was facing the lame-duck, 15th-place Avalanche, a team that had lost seven of its previous eight.

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The Wild hijacked an undeserved point in a 2-1 shootout loss to open a three-game road trip.

"Maybe this is the team we have. Maybe this is the team we have," Lemaire said. "We have to play hard every night, and we need all the players to play at their best to be good. We had more than a handful of guys that didn’t play their game. So this is why we can’t win, and it’s been like this all year."

Niklas Backstrom, who gave up shootout goals to Wojtek Wolski and Milan Hejduk, was under constant assault. The Wild, which didn’t get their first shot of the third period until 15 minutes, 37 seconds in, was outshot 41-17 (15 in regulation).

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