After clawing their way back into the playoff picture in the month of January, the Colorado Avalanche were shutout for the second straight game in a 1-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center. The Avalanche have not scored a single goal in three games meetings with the Wild this season after Minnesota eliminated Colorado from the playoffs last April.

The Avalanche have now been shutout an egregious eight times on the season after only being shutout one time all of last season. They haven’t scored a goal in their last six periods of hockey. At the root of the problem, the club has not scored a goal in their last 25 power play opportunities after going 0-for-2 against Minnesota.

“It’s the kind of year we are having,” coach Patrick Roy said. “Offensively, last year we had almost three goals per game. This year, we are way below that. Obviously, it puts a lot of pressure on our defense.”

Devan Dubnyk made 18 saves on the way to his fourth shutout in nine starts since joining the Wild. Varlamov made 28 saves in a losing effort — marking the second game in a row the Russian netminder has allowed one goal in a losing effort.

Colorado came out of the gate flat while the Wild were flying in the first period, leading to a 17-4 advantage in shots for Minnesota after 20 minutes.

Charlie Coyle scored the game’s only goal when he deflected Marco Scandella’s shot past Semyon Varlamov at 11:27 of the opening frame.

“”We aren’t shooting the puck with confidence,” coach Patrick Roy said. “Sometimes you have to do it different ways. You need more traffic, you need to drive the net harder and battle harder to get in front of the net and sometimes it can make a difference.”

The Avalanche continue their road trip on Sunday in a pivotal game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.

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