DENVER - Ty Conklin made 25 saves, and the Detroit Red Wings took the overall NHL lead with 3-2 victory over the faltering Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen and Kris Draper scored for Detroit. The Red Wings played without goal leader Marian Hossa, sidelined by a sore neck and knee. Hossa was injured the night before in St. Louis when he slammed into the end boards and had to be carried off the ice on a gurney.
The 30-year-old Hossa was hospitalized for observation, but accompanied the team to Colorado and is listed as day to day.
The Stanley Cup champion Red Wings won for the fourth time in five games to reach 94 points, one more than San Jose and Eastern Conference-leading Boston.
Colorado dropped its sixth straight game, matching the longest skid since the team relocated to Denver in 1995-96. The last time the Avalanche dropped six in a row was late in the 1998 season when they were on their way to wrapping up a division title.
The last-place Avalanche have a losing record this late in the season for the first time since the franchise arrived in the Mile High City.
John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk scored for Colorado.
The Avalanche pulled goalie Andrew Raycroft with 52 seconds remaining, but couldn't tie the game as Conklin made a flurry of late saves.
Detroit has struggled with the Avalanche this season, going 1-3 in the series. But the Wings opened up the game with a two-goal second period as Franzen and Draper each scored.
Liles gave the Avalanche an early 1-0 lead, scoring 2:57 into the game.
It was his eighth goal of the season.
The Wings tied it late in the first period when Filppula flipped a shot over a sprawled-out Raycroft.
Filppula's goal came with the clock malfunctioning, the announcer counting down the time for the final minute. Filppula's eighth goal of the season happened with 19 seconds remaining.
Hossa's injury Tuesday night gave the Wings quite a worry. He went sailing headfirst into the boards after a check by Roman Polak. Hossa gave the team a little wave as he was taken off the ice.
"When you see someone go into the boards like that, it's scary," Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "But he's all right."
Notes: The Avalanche became sellers at the trade deadline, sending D Jordan Leopold to Calgary. The team picked up defencemen Lawrence Nycholat and Ryan Wilson, plus a second-round pick in the 2009 draft. ... Red Wings F Aaron Downey had scratches on his knuckles a day after his epic fight with St. Louis F Cam Janssen. The bout went on for several minutes, drawing a huge ovation from the crowd. "I know my hands are pretty sore," Downey said. "I know I connected (on) at least three or four good shots ... He hit me with one in the side of the head, which was a good shot by him. I'll give him that."