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Avs Fall to Wings 4-3

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER (AP) - Robert Lang broke a tie late in the second period and the Detroit Red Wings killed two 5-on-3 disadvantages in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Wings snapped the Avs' five-game home winning streak, Colorado's longest since closing out the 2002-03 season with six straight home wins.

The Red Wings' second two-man disadvantage lasted 53 seconds and came midway through the third period while Detroit was clinging to its 4-3 lead. The Avalanche managed one shot on goal during that span.

The Avs, who were 1-for-8 on power plays, also failed to capitalize on Brett Lebda's holding call with 3:53 left. They even yanked their goalie for the final 10 seconds of the power play but failed to get a shot off.

Detroit was 2-for-5 on the power play.

After Brett Clark and Antti Laaksonen went to the penalty box for hooking, the Central Division-leading Red Wings capitalized on their two-man advantage to break a 3-3 tie in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk passed the puck across the crease and Lang put it past David Aebischer's stick side from right in front of the net.

The Avalanche had erased a 3-1 deficit with two second-period goals. Patrice Brisebois' shot from the right point deflected off Andrew Brunette to pull Colorado to 3-2 at 1:29 of the period and Rob Blake's slap shot from the left point tied it at 3 at 13:23.

The Red Wings needed 49 seconds to score on Datsyuk's shot past Aebischer, whose personal seven-game winning streak was halted Thursday night in Chicago. Forty-six seconds later, Ian Laperriere tied it when he deflected John-Michael Liles' shot past Manny Legace.

Tomas Holmstrom redirected Daniel Cleary's great pass between a defender and a teammate for a 2-1 Detroit lead, and Mathieu Schneider's pass through traffic on a power play gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead at 18:51 of the first period.

Aebischer remained one win shy of equaling the franchise record of eight wins by a goaltender in the month of January, set by Patrick Roy in 2001.


Karlis Skrastins played in his 400th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NHL ... The Avs began a five-game homestand that includes four opponents who are atop their respective divisions. ... These teams have won five of the last nine Stanley Cups ... Detroit won its fourth straight game today ... The Avalanche had its five-game home winning streak snapped this afternoon...It was Colorado's longest since winning six straight at home to close out the 2002-03 season ... John-Michael Liles extended his point streak to four games (1g, 5a), tying his season and career best ... Liles equaled his season high with two assists ... Brett McLean matched his season and career high with two assists ... Pavel Datsyuk extended his point streak to six games tonight (3g 9a) ... Rob Blake scored his 194th career goal, second among active defensemen behind Brian Leetch (246) ... Blake's 194 goals rank 19th all-time by a defenseman, two shy of tying Scott Stevens (196) for 18th place.


Rob Blake: "In the first period, if it wasn't for Abby, it could have been 6-1. We had a chance on a 5-on-3 and didn't score. They had a 5-on-3 and scored and that's the difference. In the first period, they were all over us making plays wherever they wanted....and Aebischer was up to the task." On The Detroit Rivalry... It's a different feel for that game than any other game on your schedule. It has in the past and always will."

Joe Sakic: "We didn't generate very many chances. From the second period on from the last game, the power play and 5-on-3....we have to find a way to put the puck in the net." On Aebischer... "He was unbelievable. He's been playing real well for us. He was really the only reason we were in this game. Unfortunately, we didn't find a way to help him out."

David Aebischer: "First 20 minutes, (Detroit) worked harder than us. That's why it was 3-1 after 20 minutes. There's going to be days like this, or periods like this. Same thing in Chicago, we had the bad second period and today, the first period. Maybe both times could have cost us some points. So, it's disappointing but we have to look forward and be ready for the next game."

Mathieu Schneider: "We've gotten tested on a lot of nights and this was a great test for us. Coming in here on the road, against a team that's been pretty hot. I thought we did a really good job from our goaltending out. We're playing with the puck an awful lot. And when we play with the puck we have a lot of success." On The Atmosphere in Pepsi Center... "It was exciting, it was great. We got up a couple of times and they scored one and they're right back in it. They have great fans here, without a doubt. So, it was an exciting game."

Manny Legace: "There's some good talent coming at us and if we don't play well, we're going to get blown out. Guys have played great and have raised their game to their level." On Colorado... "They were coming pretty hard in the third. They are a never give-up team. The fans were behind them and they were all fired up. They didn't stop, they kept coming. You have to take your hat off to Aebischer he was the only reason they had a chance to come back."

Chris Chelios: "Manny (Legace) comes up with big saves. Against a team like that, you have to get some bounces. They had a couple of opportunities in the end and Manny came up big that one slot play. We executed on our 5-on-3, they didn't. Speciality teams, I guess, you could say was a bit of a difference tonight."

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