The Colorado Avalanche finally beat the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, in their fifth and final meeting of the season on Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center. The Avalanche – who beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday – picked up four huge points in their push for a playoff spot over the weekend.

The Wild (36-22-7) won the previous four over the Avalanche (30-25-11) this season by a combined score of 12-1. Including last season’s playoff series, Minnesota had won six straight contests against Colorado.

The Avalanche won on the second half of a back-to-back set for only the second time in nine attempts this season.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Wild.

Semyon Varlamov – in his 22nd consecutive start – stopped 29-of-30 shots before he was forced from the game with just under six minutes remaining in the third period. Avalanche head coach patrick Roy said it was a lower body injury in post-game press conference. Reto Berra allowed a late goal in relief that added suspense in the closing seconds.

Devan Dubnyk made his 24th consecutive start for the Wild. This was just the sixth time he has allowed more than two goals in that span.

Gabriel Landeskog and Jarome Iginla led the way for the Avs with two points apiece. The pair is tied for the team lead with 46 points on the season. Colorado’s captain is red-hot with nine goals and 15 points in the last 12 games.

With the way this rivalry has been heating up, it should surprise nobody that there was a fight just 43 Seconds into the game. Cody McLeod dropped the gloves for the league-leading 18th time this season against former Avalanche forward Chris Stewart – who the Wild acquired at this year’s trade deadline.

McLeod – who is anything but a fan favorite in Minnesota – followed up the fight by opening the scoring at 18:05 of the first frame. The enforcer redirected an Iginla shot past Devan Dubnyk.

Zach Redmond extended the Avs’ lead with a slap shot from the point that skipped off the ice and bounced off the post before finding the back of the net. Tyson Barrie extended his three-game point streak with an assist on the goal. The offensive defenseman has five assists in the last three contests.

Landeskog scored the game-winner with a tap-in goal on a loose puck behind Dubnyk early in the third period. It was the Avs’ first power play goal in 19 attempts against the Wild this season.

Stewart and Thomas Vanek scored late goals for the Wild but it would prove to be too little, too late to complete a comeback.

The Avalanche will start a three-game homestand with a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

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

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