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Brunette Nets Two in Game Three Loss

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

Western Conference Semifinals
Game 3 Review
  Detroit Leads Series 3-0

Game 1 - Detroit 4, Colorado 3
 
Photos Highlights Coach Q Presser

Game 2 -
Detroit 5, Colorado 1
 
Photos Highlights  Coach Q
         Sakic Smyth Foote

Game 3 -  Detroit 4, Colorado 3
 
Photos Highlights Notes & Quotes
         Sakic  Foote

Game 4 - Thursday, May 1st vs. Detroit
       8:00 p.m. VERSUS/TSN 
Tickets

Game 5 - Saturday, May 3rd @ Detroit*
     11:00 a.m. NBC/TSN

Game 6 - Monday, May 5th vs. Detroit*
      8:00 p.m. VERSUS/TSN/Altitude 
Tickets

Game 7 - Wednesday, May 7th @ Detroit*
     TBD; TSN/Altitude
*if necessary


                      Quick Fact
With a pair of assists tonight, Joe Sakic moved past both Bryan Trottier (184) and Steve Yzerman (185) and into sole possession of 8th place on the all-time playoff scoring list. In 171 career postseason contests, Sakic has totaled 186 points (84g/102a).

        Assistant Captain Andrew Brunette
 
On Overcoming Injuries and Making Adjustments
"It’s unfortunate what has happened, but it’s part of the game. We have to try and find a way to find a solution. I was happy with how we played tonight but we fell a little bit short. We need to correct a few of the things and just try and win one game.”

 

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and added an assist as the Detroit Red Wings skated to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at Pepsi Center in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Detroit now owns a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 4 scheduled for Thursday night in Denver.

“We started off real good, but we got into a little trouble taking penalties,” said Andrew Brunette, who led the way for Colorado with a pair of goals. “I thought we did a good job killing those penalties, but it just seems like we’re going through a little bit like we did versus Minnesota, where we get momentum and seem to lose it right away.”

Feeding off the energy of the Pepsi Center crowd, the Avs came flying out of the gates in the first period by boasting an aggressive forecheck, putting shots on net and playing the body. It paid off only 5:17 into the game when Cody McLeod scored his first career playoff goal.

With a delayed penalty in the works against Detroit, T.J. Hensick put a shot toward the Detroit goal from the edge of the right faceoff circle. The attempt appeared to be heading just wide of the net, but McLeod was able to redirect the puck between Chris Osgood’s legs to stake Colorado to a 1-0 lead.

The Red Wings would shift the momentum in their favor midway through the period, scoring twice before the first intermission to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room.

Datsyuk evened the game on a power-play goal at 12:14, while Johan Franzen gave Detroit a 2-1 lead 58 seconds later when he tapped home a Brett Lebda feed for his sixth goal of the series.

Datsyuk struck again 6:36 into the second period when he deposited the rebound of a Brian Rafalski shot to give the Red Wings a two-goal cushion.

The Avalanche cut its deficit to one goal on a Brunette power-play tally at 8:08. Brunette tipped a low John-Michael Liles point shot, redirecting the puck over Osgood’s shoulder.

However, Henrik Zetterberg answered with a power-play goal of his own at 12:24, knocking home a cross-ice feed from Datsyuk to make it a 4-2 contest heading into the final frame.

Brunette’s second power-play goal of the contest again brought the Avs within striking distance in the third period. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic displayed great patience with the puck to start the play, faking a shot before moving around a Detroit forward and putting a wrister on goal. Osgood made the initial stop, but Brunette banged home the rebound at 5:19 for his team-leading fifth goal of the postseason.

Colorado pulled Jose Theodore (31 saves) for an extra attacker late in the game, but the Red Wings and Osgood (30 saves) held on down the stretch.



Inserted into the lineup due in part to Ryan Smyth’s injury (foot), T.J. Hensick had a solid playoff debut. Hensick, who notched six goals and five assists in 31 games with the Avalanche during the regular season, had last appeared in an NHL game on Feb. 22 at Phoenix but was called into action tonight versus Detroit.

Hensick set up Cody McLeod’s first-period tally and totaled three shots on goal and a +1 rating in 14:07 of ice time.

“It was pretty exciting,” remarked Hensick. “Last week in Cleveland, and then you get the call to come here and get a chance to play with the injuries, so for me to get my first playoff game, especially against the Red Wings, was pretty exciting.”



Second-year center Paul Stastny suffered a knee injury in the first period and did not return to the game. Stastny had 11 shifts in the first period totaling 7:10 and had won all seven of his faceoffs before the injury.

The Avs played the game without the services of Smyth, but did see Peter Forsberg make his first appearance in the series.

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