ST. PAUL, Minn. — Milan Hejduk’s 37th birthday was marked by a victory and a milestone.
Hejduk and Matt Duchene scored in the shootout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Thursday night.
Hejduk also scored in regulation to record his 800th career point.
“A couple guys asked me this morning what I want for my birthday. I said I’d like to get a win and put a smile on everybody’s face in the locker room which happened, so that’s cool," Hejduk said.
The loss ended a three-game slide.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu in the shootout to get the win in just his second start of the season.
Hejduk beat Niklas Backstrom with a backhand move and Duchene beat the Minnesota goaltender with a wrist shot.
“I had no idea where I was going to go really. I just tried to outwait him a little bit and put it behind him," Hejduk said.
Duchene and Aaron Palushaj also scored in regulation for Colorado. It was the first shootout of the season for the Avalanche.
“A lot of good things in our game tonight, but most importantly the two points which we wanted," coach Joe Sacco said. “Our guys fought hard tonight; they had to battle for every inch of ice out there. When you do that usually you get rewarded."
Minnesota coach Mike Yeo had far different feelings about his team.
“It was there to be taken, if you do the things to take it. There was a lack of urgency, I would say, in a lot of areas," he said choosing his words carefully. “I don’t think we were prepared to play the right way."
Parise, Koivu and Mike Rupp scored for Minnesota, which netted three goals for the first time in seven games. The Wild has 10 goals in that span.
“This was a game we needed to win. The plus side is we got a point, but you can’t find any contentment in that," Rupp said.
Hejduk became the fourth player in franchise history — second in Colorado — to reach 800 career points.
The only other Quebec/Colorado players to reach that number were Joe Sakic (1,641), Peter Stastny (1,048) and Michel Goulet (945). Hejduk has 13 career power-play goals against Minnesota, the most of any Wild opponent.
“I got 1,000 games like four games ago and now 800, so it’s really cool," Hejduk said. “But I really don’t focus on the stats right now. I just want to keep focusing on the team and how we do."
In other games on Thursday:
NEW YORK — John Tavares scored one of the Islanders’ three second-period goals and then netted the winner in a shootout as New York broke a five-game losing streak with a victory over the New York Rangers.
TAMPA, Fla. — Eric Fehr scored two goals, Mathieu Perreault had three assists and Washington beat Tampa Bay for its third straight win.
Maple Leafs 1
RALEIGH, N.C. — Joe Corvo had a goal and an assist, and Carolina won its third consecutive game by beating Toronto.
SUNRISE, Fla. — Rene Bourque scored 2:10 into overtime to give Montreal a victory over Florida.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for his second consecutive shutout to lead Nashville over Phoenix.