When Ryan O'Reilly scored his game-winning goal Saturday night, he made sure he went off by himself before lifting his arms in exultation. Celebrating goals, as it was shown to O'Reilly last week, can be dangerous to one's health.

Playing his first game after missing two because of a freak shoulder injury suffered in a group hug after a goal against Calgary, O'Reilly scored twice in the Avalanche's 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.

O'Reilly's game-winner, scored with 7:16 remaining in the game, broke a 2-2 tie and was a real beauty. Playing a game of keepaway in small spaces with linemate Matt Duchene against the Wild defense, O'Reilly roofed a backhander from a tough right angle over Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom. Max Talbot added an empty-netter to give the Avs one of their most satisfying wins of the season.

"Dutchy just gave me a great pass there, and gave me enough time where I could do something with it," said O'Reilly, who added a second-period goal just as an Avalanche power play had expired for a 2-0 lead. "There was a lot of traffic coming to (Backstrom) and I think he was more worried about that, so just a quick little play; just tried to get it up and lucky enough it went in."

The Avs lost center Paul Stastny to a leg injury, but coach Patrick Roy said he should play Tuesday night in Chicago.

While the Wild is banged up with injuries too — with stars Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu on the shelf — the Avs had to play short-handed on the Wild's ice against a team that had won four in a row. But they found a way to win, despite being outshot 27-18 and with Roy having to make line adjustments after Stastny couldn't come out for the third period. One of them by Roy was putting O'Reilly and Duchene together, and they stepped to the fore.