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(Sports Network) - Two teams battling for position in the competitive Northwest Division meet tonight in Denver, where the Colorado Avalanche will host the Minnesota Wild in an important encounter from the Pepsi Center.

The Wild enter the matchup in third place in the Northwest standings but stand only two points in back of division co-leaders Calgary and Vancouver. Colorado is four points behind Minnesota, which also currently holds down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Minnesota plays the third test of a five-game road trip tonight. After opening the trek with a 3-2 loss Saturday at Columbus, the Wild rebounded with a resounding 5-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Pavol Demitra each netted a pair of goals, while Pascal Dupuis also scored for Minnesota. Brian Rolston and Wes Walz both contributed a pair of assists to the winning effort and Manny Fernandez stopped 29-of-31 shots between the pipes.

The Wild have recorded a poor 9-16-1 road record for the season, but the club has played much better away from home as of late. Since dropping a franchise- record 11 straight games as the visitor from November 20-January 9, Minnesota has gone 5-1-0 on the road.

Minnesota historically hasn't fared well in Denver, however. The Wild are only 2-12-2 (two ties) in 16 lifetime visits to the Pepsi Center and have lost in five of their last six trips there.

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