If the NHL season had ended Wednesday night, the Avalanche would be a lottery team. The odds of not being one when the season does end get smaller with every passing game.

Another loss, 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, was Colorado's fifth in a row and kept the Avs in 14th place in the 15-team Western Conference.

The Avs played a hard, competitive game, but until the NHL starts adding a column for "moral victories," there is no joy in Mudville at the moment.

"You can't start pointing fingers. It's everybody, collectively," said Avs goalie Craig Anderson, whose stock continues to fall from last season's Vezina Trophy-worthy level to being pulled in the second period of this one. "It starts with looking at yourself in the mirror and asking what you can do better."

It is a team-wide collapse, but Anderson was singled out afterward a little more than others by coach Joe Sacco. After veteran John Madden beat Anderson with a short-side shot at 10:42 of the second period — a shot the goalie said he never saw because of a screen — Sacco pulled him in favor of Peter Budaj.

"I think there's a couple chances there where Craig needs to make a save for us, a timely save," Sacco said.

Anderson may not have seen Madden's game-winner, but he had time to see and stop Martin Havlat's goal, which gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead at 15:51 of the first period. With Paul Stastny unable to wrest control of the puck away from Havlat down low, Havlat turned and beat Anderson with a short-side shot on which Anderson didn't have enough corner of the net protected.

"You roll with it, you learn from it and you try to be better. Tomorrow is a new day," said Anderson, who has now lost his last six starts, allowing 21 goals in the process.