Detroit at Colorado (3/4/09)

Tonight the Red Wings were in Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche. The goalies were Conklin for the Wings and Raycroft for the Avs. Downey and Ericsson were in the lineup again tonight. Hossa was not in but he did travel with the team after the game in St. Louis. That was amazing news; he didn’t even have to stay overnight in the hospital. I guess his crash looked worse than it was. He has a stiff neck and stiff knee. All things considered that’s excellent news!

This game started out with a bit of an edge. The teams were both playing and hitting hard.

Colorado took the early lead. Liles shot the puck from the point through traffic. The puck somehow made it through a couple of Red Wings and Smyth who was in front of the net blocking Conklin’s view. I don’t think it was redirected at all but Conklin couldn’t see it so he didn’t have much chance of stopping it.

They traded some power plays with no change in the score. With the period almost over, Draper passed the puck from down low to Lidstrom in the high slot. Lidstrom one-timed it but Raycroft stopped it. Kopecky got the rebound to Filppula. He turned around and snapped one past Raycroft to tie the game. When the goal was scored the clock was not moving because of a problem with the scoreboard. The period was being timed by a stopwatch so nobody was sure how much time was left in the period. Luckily there were 19 seconds left so the goal was good.

In the second period Kopecky stole the puck when Raycroft tried to make an outlet pass. He took it to the net, made a nice move on Raycroft and almost scored. He lost it trying to get it to his backhand which would have been an easy tap in. It was a fantastic play and highlights how great Kopecky has been playing lately. He just gets better and better.

Just a few second later, Franzen decided to show Kopecky how it’s done. He did just about the same play, but he ended up scoring the goal. It was a great individual effort by Franzen. That made it two to one in favor of the Wings.

A few minutes later Detroit scored a great goal from the grinders. Downey was fore checking and caused Foote to mishandle the puck. Meech took it and passed it to Draper in the slot. Draper backhanded it for the goal making it three to one.

Most of the third period passed uneventfully. The Red Wings continued to dominate. However, with about five minutes to go in the game the Avalanche started coming to life. At one point they shot the puck from a sharp angle. It got between Conklin’s legs but it was traveling almost parallel with the goal line. The puck was bouncing around right on the goal line with Conklin out of the net. Franzen was there and he alertly swept the puck away.

The Avs continued to get a lot of shots, scoring chances and goal posts from that point on. Eventually, the pressure paid off for them. They got the puck in deep behind the Red Wings net. Smyth passed to Hejduk who was camped out in front of the net. He quickly took a shot and beat Conklin. That brought the Avs back to within a goal.

The Wings were able to shut it down from that point on even though Colorado pulled their goalie and really applied the pressure. The Red Wings looked great in this game. Kopecky, Filppula and Ericsson all had particularly good games.

This 3-2 win brings us to:
43-14-8
94 points

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