ST. PAUL (AP) -- The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche are currently a .500 team.
"Everyone's pretty frustrated," said defenseman Chris Drury after the Avalanche lost to the Minnesota Wild 4-2 Friday night. "We've got to find a way, and in my opinion, find a way fast."
The Wild, continuing their sharp improvement with an extra skater, got power-play goals from Andrew Brunette and Jim Dowd.
Minnesota (5-3-3-1), last in the NHL in power-play conversion last season, was 2-for-4 with the man advantage against Colorado after entering the game at a league-leading 23 percent.
Dowd, whose goal with 2:44 left in the second period gave the Wild a 3-2 lead, isn't ready to give up on Colorado (7-7-0-0).
"A lot of teams go through it after they win the Cup," Dowd said. "If you're not on your game, they're going to bury you."
But it's been the Avalanche who haven't been on their game so far.
"We can't buy the big goal right now that's going to put us ahead," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "Bottom line is, our best players have to start scoring goals. We have lots of star players who are kind of searching themselves."
Brian Willsie scored both goals for Colorado, which has lost three of four. The Avs won all five games against Minnesota last season.
"They feel good about this win," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "When they got in the room they were yelling, they were happy. To have the chance to beat a team like that is great for us."
Dwayne Roloson (3-2-1), who spent all of last season in the minors, made 32 saves for Minnesota.
"Being back in the NHL is great, but I can't let these things interfere with what I've got to do," he said. "The confidence is huge, but we've got to keep things in perspective."
At 15:08 of the first period, with teammate Jason Marshall already in the box for holding, Minnesota center Darby Hendrickson clipped Sakic's cheek with his stick and was handed a 4-minute double-minor for high-sticking.
Roloson then turned away five slap shots by Sakic and Rob Blake with the Avalanche on a 5-on-3.
"We had a couple of chances but couldn't bury it," Sakic said. "Five-on-3 is usually a momentum-builder one way or the other."
Notes: Minnesota, which rotates its captains each month, named D Filip Kuba captain for November. C Darby Hendrickson and C Wes Walz are the permanent alternate captains. ... Minnesota D Brad Bombardir, out with a broken right ankle, filled in as the team's radio analyst Friday night. ... The overflow crowd of 19,014 was the largest ever to see a hockey game in Minnesota. Official capacity at Xcel Energy Center is 18,064. ... The Avalanche began a five-game road trip Friday. Eight of their next 10 games are away from Denver. ... Colorado surpassed 30 shots on goal for just the fourth time in its 14 games this season.
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