DENVER (AP) - Dan Cleary broke a scoreless tie in the third period and Manny Legace handed Colorado its first shutout of the season, leading Detroit past the Avalanche 3-0 Saturday.
Legace (22-6-2) stopped 28 shots. His fourth shutout of the season and 10th of his career left just three teams who haven't been blanked this year: Detroit, Dallas and San Jose.
The Red Wings are 3-0 against the Avalanche this season, but unlike their first two meetings, when they combined for 17 goals, this one was dominated by defense and missed opportunities on the power play.
Detroit, ranked No. 2 in the league in penalty killing, killed off all seven of Colorado's power plays.
Through the first two periods, Colorado managed just five shots in five power plays, drawing the ire of the Pepsi Center crowd. The Avs finally put some life into their fans when they got off three shots on their sixth power play but again Legace kept them from putting the puck into the net.
And shortly after killing that power play, Detroit broke the scoreless tie with Cleary's third goal of the season. He took a nifty pass out of the right corner from Henrik Zetterberg and pushed it stickside past David Aebischer (20-12-2), who had stopped the first 21 shots he faced, at 5:40 of the third period.
After a Brad May turnover, Tomas Holmstrom picked up the puck and dished it to Mikael Samuelsson, whose wrist shot from the upper left circle at 10:01 made it 2-0, and Robert Lang's breakaway goal capped the scoring at 18:29, sending the fans streaming to the exits.
Detroit improved to 3-0 against the Avalanche this season...These two teams will meet once more next Sunday (Feb. 12) at Joe Louis Arena...The Avalanche was shutout for the first time all season...Prior to this afternoon, the Avs had scored at least two goals in each of their first 54 games this season...The last time that Colorado was shutout came on March 27, 2004 at Detroit (0-2)...The last time they were blanked at home was March 1, 2004 vs. Tampa Bay (0-3)...Manny Legace notched his fourth shutout of the season and 10th of his career...It was his second career shutout against the Avalanche (March 27, 2004).
David Aebischer: "On the second goal, you never know what would have happened if it had only been 1-0. It's tough because we need the points. (Manny) Legace played really well and unfortunately we didn't get the puck past him. Right now, we are having a little trouble with the power play. There's up-and-downs in this league. But with the talent and guys we have in here, I don't think it should be a problem."
Joe Sakic: "The difference in the game today was their PK was good and our power play wasn't. We didn't get the puck, we didn't get set up. What it boils down to is they out-worked us. They were on the puck, all four guys were tied together and we were too spread out. They have a great hockey club. We're back there (in Detroit) next time so hopefully we have a better performance."
Ian Laperriere: On Detroit's PK... "They're No. 1 in the league for a reason. They just put pressure. We have to give these guys credit. We have a heck of a lineup to score goals. We're third in the league (in scoring), we do score goals. I don't think we got dominated out there. They took advantage of their breaks. They played a patient game like we wanted to play."
Manny Legace: On Detroit's PK... "It's just hard work. They go out there and battle every single night. It's just amazing how hard they work. It's not just one shift or one power play. It's every single time they're out there. They're just blocking shots and doing everything."
Chris Chelios: "We're on a pretty good roll. We stressed being aggressive but you get bounces too. They had a couple chances. We try to make them make a really good play if we're going to get beat. And right now it's working pretty well. You have national television and you're trying to promote scoring. Calling it tight and making the calls, it's all a part of it right now. As long as it's consistent and even, I guess that's all you can ask for."