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Breakdown: Wings-Avalanche

by Michael Caples / Detroit Red Wings

The Wings took a two-goal lead into the third period, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Avalanche. Matt Duchene scored his first NHL goal to tie the game at two. Valtteri Filppula gave the Wings a 3-2 lead, but then Cody McLeod recorded his second goal of the night to even it up again. The Avalanche topped the Wings in the shootout, as Milan Hejduk had the game-winner.

While his goal didn’t stand as the game-winner, Valtteri Filppula turned in another solid performance for the Red Wings. Filppula’s second of the season was an impressive goal. Ville Leino carried the puck across the Colorado blue line, and saucered a pass to Jason Williams. He cut to the net, and put the puck into goalie Craig Anderson’s pads. It trickled out to the front of the Avs’ goal, where Filppula pounced on it. On the night, Filppula had 21:21 worth of ice time, second only behind Zetterberg.

The duo of Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm had a great game Saturday. The two young forwards provided plenty of energy, and some points, for the Wings. Abdelkader started the scoring in the contest, as he finished off a play that started with Helm racing into the zone and jamming the puck out front. Helm had 10-plus minutes of ice, and won all his face-offs. Abdelkader had eight minutes of ice-time, and had two hits.

Through the first two periods, the Wings were dominating the shots totals. In the first period, it was 13-5 Wings, and in the second, it was 10-8. However, in the last period, the Avalanche controlled the play, outshooting the Wings 13-7. They had just enough shots to complete the comeback.

After the game, defenseman Brian Rafalski talked about what went wrong in the loss. Here’s what he had to say:

“We played pretty well until the last five minutes, and we can’t afford to do that. … We stopped doing the little things, stopped skating a little bit, a few turnovers, and you just can’t afford to do that. You’ve got to bare down and make plays, make them go 200 feet, and we didn’t do that.”

In the closing minutes of the first period, Brad May got the Joe Louis Arena crowd on its feet. The newest Wing dropped the gloves with Cody McLeod, and the two traveled around the Wings’ end as they exchanged blows. May got in some left hooks, and when they ended up along the boards, the linesmen stepped in. Both served a five-minute major for fighting.

The Red Wings head out on a 1-day road trip through five cities, beginning in Phoenix on Thursday. The game can be seen live on FS Detroit at 10 p.m. EDT. The Wings have a 56-38-22 all-time record against the Coyotes, including a 25-18-14 mark in the desert.


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