When Minnesota native Ben Meyers was searching for his first NHL contract last spring, the college free agent was scouted heavily by his hometown team. Meyers eventually chose the Avalanche instead of the Minnesota Wild, and on Monday, scored the opening goal at Xcel Energy Center in Colorado’s 6-3 victory.

The Avs also had goals from Samuel Girard, Mikko Rantanen, Josh Manson, Nathan MacKinnon and an empty netter from Valeri Nichushkin in a game where they never trailed.

Early-season rust reared its head in this one, as both teams had advantageous bounces throughout the night.

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The Wild, who were second in the Central Division last season, have struggled defensively through three games. Before surrendering six to Colorado, Minnesota gave up seven goals in each of its first two games. It drops to 0-3-0, losing all three games at home and remaining the only team without a victory in the Central.

Alexandar Georgiev was in goal for the Avs, stopping 36-of-39 to improve to 2-0-0 on the season. Georgiev made 15 stops in the second period and was crucial when the Avalanche had a one-goal lead in the third.

Nichushkin and MacKinnon (goal, two assists, each) led the way with three points. Makar (two assists) and Girard (goal, assist) also had multi-point efforts.

Colorado was 1-for-2 on the power play but just 2-for-4 on the penalty kill, which continues to struggle.

Special teams have been big factors in every game so far. The Avs have six power-play goals but have also surrendered five tallies from the opposition. When combining goals for and against, eleven of the 24 goals scored in three games have come on the power play. Two others were scored shorthanded and another two at 4-on-4.

Colorado returns home for two games starting with Wednesday’s matchup against the Winnipeg Jets.

Aarif Deen is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.

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