With Jones shielding Hackett a little later in the period during a power play, McGinn jumped on another juicy rebound and sent the puck over Hackett's head to make it 2-0. Darroll Powe's holding penalty set up the man-advantage situation. Powe, a checking specialist, played on the second line with Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi, another sign of how depleted the Wild have been.
"I think it's more between the ears than it is the ability of a player," Yeo said, assessing the team's struggles.
With first-round draft pick Gabriel Landeskog -- the NHL's rookie of the month for February -- leading the charge with 18 goals and 23 assists, the Avalanche have improved steadily this season behind a group of promising young players. McGinn added another name to the list when he was acquired this week.
"They've got a lot of talent, especially some of those young guys. They've really adapted to the league. Every single game, they get better and better," Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert said.
Varmalov is another one of those guys, at age 23. He's 4-1 in his last five starts with a total of only four goals allowed.
"He's been very solid for us lately here, and we're going to need that type of play down the stretch," Sacco said.
Hackett made 34 saves, with regular Niklas Backstrom out another two to four weeks with a strained groin muscle and backup Josh Harding resting after giving up six goals the previous game at Detroit and getting pulled in the third period. Hackett said he was nervous his first time playing at Xcel Energy Center, but a little early anxiety in the net was the least of the Wild's problems.
Avalanche LW Mike Connolly made his NHL debut after being recalled from the AHL. The former University of Minnesota Duluth star last played at Xcel Energy Center last April, when the Bulldogs won the NCAA championship. Connolly came with McGinn in the trade with San Jose. ... The Wild also recalled a prospect they recently picked up in a trade, D Steven Kampfer. He became the 44th player to take the ice this season for the Wild, most in the NHL and a franchise record. ... Avalanche RW Steve Downie, another recent trade acquisition, was scratched because of a shoulder injury sustained Saturday.