Any questions of whether Minnesota Wild fans would return after the NHL lockout have been crushed.
The Wild announced the sixth-largest crowd in franchise history for the season opener on Saturday at 19,298 fans, just 100 short of their all-time record at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2.
This was first game for new stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in Wild jerseys. Parise had two assists and eight shots on goal.
Jarett Anderson and David Arnett drove up from Rochester and found a sea of fans in the area around the arena more than three hours before faceoff. Anderson said the atmosphere was "electric." Arnett compared the scene to the first Minnesota Twins game at Target Field in 2010.
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