Red Wings-Avalanche Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (35-13-5) at Colorado Avalanche (29-19-6).
TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m. EST.
The Detroit Red Wings look to continue their success on the road this season, and beat the Colorado Avalanche for the fourth straight time in Denver when the teams meet at the Pepsi Center.
The Red Wings, one of five teams with a league-best 17 road wins, are 8-2 in their last 10 games in Denver and 22-10-3 overall against the Avalanche - including the playoffs - since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
In Detroit's 3-2 win over St. Louis on Wednesday, Brendan Shanahan scored the equalizer midway through the third period and Henrik Zetterberg broke the tie with his 24th goal of the season at 16:05. Zetterberg knocked in the rebound of Andreas Lilja's shot just after the defenseman had exited the penalty box.
"Andreas made a pretty good shot," Zetterberg said. "I came around. He would have been mad at me if I had missed that one."
Zetterberg has two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak. In his last six games against the Avalanche, he has one goal and four assists.
Leading scorer Pavel Datsyuk assisted on Shanahan's goal for his first point in five games. Datsyuk, who set a career high with 68 points in 75 games in 2003-04, has 59 points in 53 games this season.
Colorado is 7-1-2 in its last 10 home games, with the lone regulation defeat coming against Detroit in a 4-3 loss on Jan. 21.
The Avalanche lost more than just a game in their 4-3 overtime defeat to Nashville on Thursday.
Right wing Milan Hejduk suffered a neck injury in the first period and didn't return, and defenseman Ossi Vaananen broke his ankle in the opening minutes when he was checked into the end boards.
Hejduk could play Saturday, but Vaanenen will have surgery.
"Milan is feeling much better today (Friday)," coach Joel Quenneville said Friday. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. There is a chance he could play."
Joe Sakic reached the 20-goal plateau for the 16th time in 17 years, but Colorado was unable to convert any of its eight power-play opportunities. The Avalanche entered with 14 power-play goals in their previous eight games.
"It's always tough to lose, and certainly the way it went down there," Quenneville said. "We had so many power plays throughout the game, and you know they're going to get their turn."
Sakic has 30 goals and 49 assists in 79 games against the Red Wings in his career.
STANDINGS: Red Wings - 75 points, 1st place, Central Division. Avalanche - 64 points, 3rd place, 3 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg and Shanahan, 24 goals; Datsyuk, 40 assists and 59 points; Chris Chelios, 86 PIM. Avalanche - Marek Svatos, 30 goals; Alex Tanguay, 39 assists and 62 points; Ian Laperriere, 84 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 24.6 percent (75 for 305), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (263 for 305), 2nd. Avalanche - Power play: 20.2 percent (69 for 342), 5th. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (258 for 303), 4th.
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (21-6-2, 4 SO, 2.09 GAA); Chris Osgood (13-5-3, 1, 2.91). Avalanche - David Aebischer (20-11-2, 2, 3.16); Peter Budaj (6-5-4, 2.73).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 21; Red Wings, 4-3. At Denver, Robert Lang broke a tie during a two-man advantage late in the second period and the Red Wings killed a pair of two-man disadvantages.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 17-5-3 on the road; Avalanche - 17-7-5 at home.