Mikko Koivu lit the lamp twice to power Minnesota past Colorado 5-3. Koivu scored in the second period and added an empty-netter late in the third as the Wild won their third game in the past four. Jonas Brodin recorded his first career NHL goal in a three-goal second period for the Wild. Ryan Suter had three assists. P.A. Parenteau scored two goals for the Avs. Niklas Backstrom stopped 29 shots for Minnesota and Semyon Varlamov denied 35 for Colorado. The same two teams meet in Denver on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The NHL is moving forward with its realignment plan. The league’s Board of Governors has voted in favor of the new four-division format, which will go into effect next season. The Wild will move into a division with Colorado, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Winnipeg and Nashville. The Players’ Association has already signed off on the plan, which will have 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the West. The top three teams in each division will make the playoffs along with four wild card teams based on record. That will make it possible for one division to have five playoff teams and the other just three. The union has agreed to play under the new alignment for at least three seasons.
The Wild traded defenseman Chay Genoway to the Washington Capitals on Thursday afternoon for a conditional seventh round draft pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Genoway was a star for the University of North Dakota and was playing for the Houston Aeros. This season he posted 19 points in 53 games. Last season he made his NHL debut on April 7, 2012 against the Phoenix Coyotes, the only game of his NHL career to this point.