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Anderson, Stewart send Avs to latest victory @NHLdotcom

  -- Chris Stewart is making the most of a second opportunity with the Colorado Avalanche.

Craig Anderson is doing the same with his first crack as a No. 1 goaltender in seven NHL seasons.

The two played major roles Saturday night at the Pepsi Center, where the Avalanche continued its remarkable resurgence with a 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Recalled from the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday – two days after being sent down because of his mediocre play – Stewart set up T.J. Galiardi’s tying goal in the second period and scored the winner at 9:20 of the third.

Anderson, signed as a free agent on July 1 in the hope of filling a major hole in goal, turned aside 48 shots – 21 in the final period.

Anderson made a number of stops to help the Avalanche kill off eight Detroit power plays, four in the last 7 1/2 minutes when the Red Wings buzzed around his net.

"I knew they just wanted to get pucks to the net," Anderson said. "We did a terrific job of clearing the puck. I think only once did we not get it out when we had it on our sticks. That helped a lot to alleviate a lot of pressure. For the most part, pucks were hitting me and I was able to make the first save and guys were helping to pick up the rebounds.

"We put ourselves into a hole, but we battled through it."

A roaring crowd of 17,690 – a rare non-sellout for a Red Wings game -- responded with an "Andy, Andy" chant that Anderson appreciated.

"Absolutely," he said. "It’s a feeling that you can’t explain. It’s great how our fans are supporting us and doing what they do."

Paul Stastny, who took a double-minor for high-sticking in the first period and two minor penalties in the third, clinched matters by scoring into an empty net with 59.3 seconds to play.

While the Avalanche has gone 6-0-2 in its past eight games and owns an 8-1-2 record overall, the Red Wings are winless in four road games (0-3-1) and dropped below .500 for the season at 3-4-2.

"Overall, we played a good game," said Henrik Zetterberg, who had four of his five shots in the third period. "I think when you have around 50 shots, it is tough to score only one goal. We just have to stay positive and believe in what you do and keep doing the right things and not analyze too much.

"We are playing well and it will come eventually as long as we play hard and keep working hard."

Avalanche coach Joe Sacco had delivered a similar message to Stewart, who was a healthy scratch for four consecutive games before he was sent to Lake Erie. Stewart was recalled only because of injuries to forwards Cody McLeod and Darcy Tucker.

"We needed a body," Sacco said. "He came back and we’ve given him an opportunity to play and we put him in a position to see what he can do. Right now he’s taking advantage of the opportunity."

Stewart called being sent down "kind of an eye opener. I’m definitely happy about coming back up here and getting a chance to contribute."

Stewart, who had two assists Friday in the Avalanche’s 5-4 win over Carolina, raced into the Red Wings zone and ripped a shot off the far post and behind goalie Jimmy Howard to break a 1-1 tie.

"I see (Milan) Hejduk do that every day in practice for fun," said Stewart, who played right wing on a line with Galiardi and rookie Ryan O’Reilly. "I put everything I had into that one. When the team’s winning and you’re contributing, you definitely feel a million times better about your game."

Stewart also forced a turnover in the Detroit end before he slipped the puck to Galiardi in the slot to tie the game 1-1 at 14:26 of the second period.

"Stewey made a great play," Galiardi said. "Everyone is contributing and that is the reason why we are so successful right now. We have young guys, older guys, and everyone is contributing. That is why we are rolling right now."

The Red Wings scored their only goal at 3:09 of the second period when Kris Draper shoved the puck behind Anderson following a shot by Dan Cleary.

They had plenty of chances after that but couldn’t solve Anderson, who has started all 11 of the Avalanche’s games, posting a 2.14 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.

"Outstanding," Sacco said of Anderson. "I mean, what can you say when you are shorthanded four times in the third period? That’s a lot. Not only in the third period, but he was very solid all game and gave us a chance to win again."

--Rick Sadowski, Correspondent
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