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Avs banged-up but dangerous as they face Wings

by Brian Hunter
AVALANCHE (8-6-1) at RED WINGS (10-3-1)


Last 10:
Colorado 5-4-1; Detroit 8-2-0

Season Series: Second of four meetings this season. Brandon Yip scored in the sixth round of the shootout to give Colorado a 5-4 win on Oct. 12 in Detroit. David Jones had a pair of goals and an assist for the Avalanche, while Johan Franzen lit the lamp twice for the Red Wings.

Big Story: They've been dropping like flies in Colorado, but every time the Avalanche lose another player the guy who steps in to take his place seems to get the job done. That was the case again Friday night in Columbus as Greg Mauldin scored his first NHL goal -- it came shorthanded and held up as the game-winner in a 5-1 victory. Mauldin was drafted by the Blue Jackets and debuted with them during the 2003-04 season, playing in six games, but he'd only seen action in one NHL game since.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: A hand injury had Jones among the list of walking wounded and cost him two games, but Colorado got the gritty forward back Friday and he contributed a couple of goals and an assist to its victory in Columbus. Jones' first goal answered an earlier tally by the Jackets' Antoine Vermette and sparked five unanswered scores by the Avalanche. Jones also capped the offense with 2:08 remaining in the third. Peter Budaj finished with 28 saves.

"It's a nice way to get yourself back in the lineup," coach Joe Sacco said. "I thought Jonesey played well tonight. He played hard. He was physical on the puck. As a result he got rewarded for it with a couple of goals. It was a good game for him."

Red Wings:
So far Detroit seems to be enjoying a two-week stretch in which all of its game action takes place at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings are 2-for-2 to begin a six-game homestand, edging the Coyotes in overtime and then routing the Oilers 6-2 on Thursday. Tomas Holmstrom and the suddenly red-hot Danny Cleary each netted a pair of goals, while Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom extended their points streaks to 10 games with assists.

"We played a really good game. We played a really aggressive game," forward Todd Bertuzzi told the Detroit Free Press. "We were really good in the neutral zone, and we really simplified a lot of things, but we had everyone skating really well. When you have that and all four lines, you're going to get some goals."

Who's Hot: Philippe Dupuis, another Avalanche call-up, scored against the Blue Jackets and now has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last four games. Milan Hejduk has 1 goal and 4 assists during a three-game points streak.

For the Red Wings, Datsyuk has 4 goals and 9 assists on his current run, while Lidstrom has 2 goals and 11 assists. Cleary has 5 goals and 4 assists during a six-game points streak, Mike Modano has 1 goal and 4 assists during a five-game points streak and Henrik Zetterberg has 1 goal and 4 assists during a four-game points streak.

Injury Report: The MASH unit for Colorado currently consists of goaltender Craig Anderson (knee), defensemen Adam Foote (concussion), Kyle Cumiskey (concussion), Kyle Quincey (concussion) and Ryan Wilson (leg) and forwards Peter Mueller (concussion), David Koci (jaw), David Van Der Gulik (knee) and T.J. Galiardi (wrist).

Detroit goalie Chris Osgood has been out with a groin injury while forward Kris Draper is on injured reserve following sports hernia surgery.

Stat Pack: John-Michael Liles picked up his 12th assist Friday, tying him for fourth among NHL defensemen. … Franzen reached 100 goals for his NHL career by scoring in the Wings' win over the Oilers.

Puck Drop: "It was huge, especially at that point of the game, too," Mauldin said of his first NHL goal. "Individually, I've been waiting for this since I was six years old. It's nice to get it off my back. It's a little bit better doing it against my old team. It's just nice to come back and play again in the National Hockey League."

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