One thing in this remarkable Avalanche season had not happened until Saturday night — a shootout.

The Avs became the last team in the NHL this season to require the best-of-three skills format to decide a game, and Ryan O'Reilly scored the lone goal to cap a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the Pepsi Center.

"I just try to react to the goalie," O'Reilly said after the shootout. "I don't really go in with a plan. I came down the right side with speed and just tried to open up my blade and look like I was going to shoot it, and then slip it through."

After P.A. Parenteau and Nathan MacKinnon were stopped in the shootout, O'Reilly scored on Colorado's third attempt.

Meanwhile, Semyon Varlamov stopped all three Wild shooters — Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville — for the victory.

The Avs sat back too much in the game's final 10 minutes, and that burned them. They were only 4.3 seconds from victory, but Jan Hejda's clearing attempt a few seconds before was intercepted along the wall by Pominville, who fed Koivu in the middle and he beat Varlamov — who had been superb all game, finished with 35 saves and improved his record to 13-6.

"You never want to give up a lead in the third," O'Reilly said. "Varly played so great and we kind of let him down a little at the end."

Said the Avalanche's John Mitchell: "I can't really score on Varly in a shootout in practice. ... I had the utmost confidence in him. ... I knew we were going to win that shootout with him in there."

With the return of Paul Stastny to the lineup, Avs coach Patrick Roy did some more experimenting with his lines.

Probably the biggest change was moving veteran Max Talbot up on a line with Matt Duchene and O'Reilly, and dropping Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau down to the fourth line. That left a pretty good third line still available: Mitchell, Gabe Landeskog and MacKinnon. That trio played big roles in both of Colorado's first two goals.