Detroit at Colorado (12/27/08)

After losing in Nashville last night, Detroit went to Colorado for the second half of back to back games.  Conklin was in net again for the Wings and and Budaj was playing for the Avalanche.

Lidstrom was not able to go for this game because of the ankle injury he sustained blocking a shot in Nashville.  The initial x-rays showed no fracture but it was too swollen for him to play.  He will have additional tests when the Red Wings return to Detroit.

Colorado struck first with a power play goal in the first period.  The puck had squirted out to the high slot area and Salei took a shot.  It looked like it went off the inside of Conklin’s left leg, then hit his right leg and then ricocheted into the net.

A few minutes later the Avalanche scored another power play goal.  There was a hard shot that went off the back boards and came back to the side of the net right to Smyth.  Conklin didn’t get his skate to the post in time and Smyth pushed the puck into the net to give the Avs a two nothing lead.  The Wings just seemed to be scrambling on the penalty kill.  They didn’t look very good at all.

Later in the first period the Avalanche got ANOTHER power play goal.  Right off the power play’s first faceoff the Avs took a shot.  The rebound dropped out front and Stuart picked it up.  For some reason, instead of clearing it up ice, he sent it to the point where Liles took it and shot it into the net.

Three nothing in the first period on three power play goals.  All I can say after that period is that I hope Lidstrom never retires because they looked like garbage without him.

In the second period the Red Wings finally scored.  It was a power play goal.  Datsyuk shot the puck and Budaj lost sight of it because of traffic.  The shot never got through because it hit Holmstrom.  It dropped right back down to Datsyuk and Budaj didn’t know where it was.  It made for an easy goal for Pavel.  That brought the Wings to within two goals of tying the game.

Just  a few seconds later Detroit struck again on the power play.  Samuellson shot the puck from near the blue line and Holmstrom tipped it masterfully.  The shot was going well wide of the net and he redirected it perfectly in.  There was no way any goalie could have stopped that one.  All of the sudden it was a one goal game.

A few minutes after THAT, you guessed it, the Red Wings tied the game.  There was some nice puck movement and it came to Franzen who beat Budaj with a great shot.  That was the sixth goal of the game and the first one to come at even strength.  All three of the Red Wings goals game within about a five minute stretch.  That was the end of the second period so it was a whole new game heading into the third.

Early in the third period Detroit had some glorious chances on a power play and Budaj was able to keep them out to maintain the tie.  The Red Wings continued to take it to the Avs for most of the third period but Budaj came up huge with some monster saves.  This entire period had a sudden death feel to it.  There was desperation on both sides.  At the Red Wings end Conklin also made some big time saves to keep this game tied.  Thanks to a goaltending showcase throughout the third period, this game headed to overtime.

This game was three different games in one.  The first period was owned by Colorado’s offense.  The second period was owned by Detroit’s offense.  And the third period was owned by the goaltenders.

The overtime period continued in the style of the third.  Neither team was able to score so they headed to the shootout.

Colorado chose to shoot first and they started with Wolski.  He faked Conklin out of his pants and scored an easy goal.  Datsyuk was up next for Detroit.  He hit the post.  Svatos was next for the Avs.  He came in very fast and took a hard shot that Conklin stopped.  Next it was Zetterberg and Budaj stoned him.  Hejduk was up for the Avs to try for the win but Conklin stopped his shot.  It was up to Hudler to tie it back up for the Wings.  He took a shot but Budaj stopped it giving the Avs the shootout victory.

This was a strange game for the Red Wings.  Considering how bad they looked in the first period I think they’re lucky to come away from this one with a road point, especially after playing the night before.  They made an amazing comeback in the second period and then didn’t let their foot off the gas from that point on.  

This 4-3 overtime loss brings us to:
23-7-5
51 points

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