In the midst of a two-game Central Division losing streak, one that had seen their offense dry up completely, the Colorado Avalanche needed a solid effort to right the ship. On Saturday afternoon, they got just that.

Facing off against the rival Minnesota Wild, the Avalanche were shut out for the first 50 minutes. In the third period, they dictated play, but it was the actions of one player that truly turned their fortune around.

After losing to the Nashville Predators earlier in the week, captain Gabriel Landeskog promised better for the Avalanche fans. He delivered on his promise. In the third period, he engaged in a little scrum with Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The netminder gave the Swede a little extra, picking up an extra minor in the process.

Though the Avalanche did not score on that advantage, it was Landeskog that cashed in on the next opportunity just minutes later. After accepting a feed from Mikko Rantanen, Matt Duchene found number 92 in front, who buried the biscuit for his third of the season. The assist was Rantanen’s first point in the NHL. He would be given the puck, and six stitches, as souvenirs from the contest.

Starting in place of Semyon Varlamov, Calvin Pickard would make 32 save for the shutout. The 24-year-old netminder is now 3-0 on the season. Varlamov is expected to start on Sunday against St. Louis.

John Mitchell, who was placed on waivers on Friday (going unclaimed), also made his presence felt. He lit up former DU Pioneer Jason Zucker with a huge hit, also hustling on the backcheck to negate a Charlie Coyle scoring opportunity. His place on the Avalanche seems to be safe…for now.

“There’s no immediate plan for him to go anywhere,” said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar when asked about Mitchell after the contest. “He’s part of our team… an important part.”