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game recap

J.T. Compher boosts Avalanche to win

Rookie forward scores first NHL goal in victory against Red Wings

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- J.T. Compher, with his first NHL goal, and Carl Soderberg scored 1:55 apart in the third period to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

Calvin Pickard made 27 saves, and Matt Duchene also scored for the Avalanche (20-46-3), who are 3-2-0 in their past five games.

Compher, playing in his eighth NHL game, scored at 3:49 to put Colorado ahead 2-1.

"Got an opportunity to walk into the slot and it felt pretty good," said Compher, who played three seasons at the University of Michigan. "It was good to get the lead and nice to get the first one out of the way.


WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Avalanche highlights


"The first one's special no matter who you score it against. I didn't put too much thought into it, but it's good to get it in a win, that makes it a little more special. The guys were really excited. Overall, it was a fun night."

Soderberg followed at 5:44 with a shot from above the faceoff circles to make it 3-1 with his sixth goal, first in 18 games.

Video: DET@COL: Soderberg fires a wrister past Howard

"The second one, the guy just walked down the middle of the slot and made a nice shot," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said of Compher's goal. "The third goal, a bit of a misread on the guy's hands on my part. I thought he was a right-hander when I glanced real quick and I lined up on the body. It's on me."

Andreas Athanasiou scored for the Red Wings (26-31-11), who have lost two games in a row and are 1-5-1 in their past seven.

"It doesn't matter who we're playing, we've got to come out and we've got to be ready to play," said Howard, who had 26 saves, including against Gabriel Landeskog on a penalty shot in the third period.

Video: DET@COL: Athanasiou speeds in for breakaway tally

The Avalanche tied the game 1-1 on a goal by Duchene at 12:08 of the second period. Fedor Tyutin's shot from the blue line was tipped by Landeskog to Duchene, who was just outside the crease when he shot just inside the left post for his 17th goal. It was his first point in 12 games and his second goal in 26 games.

"That's the worst slump I've ever been in my life," Duchene said. "It was just insane, so it was nice to pick that one up. I think you could tell by my reaction how relieved I was. I don't know if I've ever scored a goal that felt better than that one."

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Athanasiou's breakaway goal at 5:09. Athanasiou sped between Tyutin and defenseman Tyson Barrie, skated down the middle, and deked backhand to forehand to beat Pickard.

Video: DET@COL: Pickard makes multiple saves on Nyquist

Goal of the game

Defenseman Francois Beauchemin passed from his end to Compher in the neutral zone. Compher skated to his right, cut to the top of the slot and put a wrist shot over Howard's blocker.

Video: DET@COL: Compher wires home first career goal

Save of the game

Howard dived to his right to stop Mark Barberio's shot 1:11 into the third period on an Avalanche power play. Mikko Rantanen was at the right side of the net when he passed through the goal mouth to Barberio.

Video: DET@COL: Howard uses stick to rob Barberio in front

Highlight of the game

Howard denied Landeskog's penalty shot with his right pad. Landeskog was awarded the shot after he was hauled down by Robbie Russo on a breakaway with 8:02 left in the game.

Video: DET@COL: Howard shuts down Landeskog's penalty shot

Unsung performance of the game

Avalanche forward Rene Bourque won a battle for the puck in the corner and passed to Tyutin to set up Duchene's goal. "He didn't get an assist on it, but he created the whole play," Duchene said of Bourque.

Video: DET@COL: Duchene buries a loose puck at the doorstep

They said it

"I thought Jimmy [Howard] played great. He made some unreal saves, especially on their power plays. A couple of backdoors, way too many backdoors. The puck stuck to him." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill


"There were a lot of red jerseys in the stands, so it's kind of interesting, but I thought, third period especially when we got going, our fans were incredible. We just got to give them something to cheer about." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on his first game against the Red Wings


"The first couple shifts there are a bit sketchy. You're nervous, you don't want to mess up, but then you get into the rhythm of it. I got to play consistently throughout the game, so that helps out a lot too." -- Avalanche defenseman Anton Lindholm, who played 14:32 and was plus-2 in his NHL debut

Need to know

Howard played his 394th NHL game to tie Mike Dunham for 12th place among United States-born goalies. ... The Avalanche went 0-for-4 on the power play and are 2-for-39 in the past 15 games.

What's next

Red Wings: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-D, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Compher scores first NHL goal in Avs' 3-1 win

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