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Hasek, Wings slam door on Avalanche

by Derek Gluth / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – One wasn't enough for Dominik Hasek.

After shutting out the Dallas Stars on Saturday, he again kept the puck out of the net on Tuesday, helping the Red Wings to a 1-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Tuesday's win is Hasek's 79th career shutout and third this season. Despite a shaky start to the season, Hasek is now 9-1-1 in his last 11 starts.

"He came to our rescue there a couple times there in the second period," said Nicklas Lidstrom of Hasek. "They were coming at us pretty good, they had some good chances in the third as well, and he stood on his head on a couple of those saves."

In a scoreless first period, both goalies had to be sharp early, which has been no problem for Hasek who is 8-0-0 with two shutouts in his last eight games against Colorado. Hasek made 19 saves on Tuesday.

"I felt great, I saw every puck," said Hasek, who also blanked Minnesota, 5-0, on Dec. 7. "I was moving from post-to-post and a few times had to chase the rebound, but I felt great for the whole 60 minutes. If you want to have a shutout, the team in front of you has to play well and that's what happened the last two games."

During a break in the first period, Wings defenseman Chris Chelios was announced as the second oldest NHL player of all time. On Tuesday, he passed Moe Roberts as the second-oldest player in NHL history at 45 years and 348 days, second only to Red Wings' legend Gordie Howe. Mr. Hockey was 52 years and six days on his final game in 1980. Chelios received a standing ovation from an appreciate crowd at Joe Louis Arena.

"My kids, my family, my parents, they're pretty proud of the fact that I've lasted this long and that makes me happy," Chelios said. "I thank the Detroit Red Wings' organization for allowing me to continue me career here. It's just kind of ironic that the oldest player, Gordie Howe, was here too. Maybe there's something in the water here in the city or Michigan that's been keeping us around so long."

The Avalanche, however, showed no such appreciation when late in the first, Cody McKormick cross-checked Lidstrom in front of the Colorado net, which led to a scrum resulting in matching minors for Chelios and McCormick, and brought to life memories of a storied rivalry that has faded lately.

It was more than 13 minutes into the second before the Avalanche managed their first shot of the period. And it wasn't until late in the second that either team got a power play when at 16:18, Avs right wing Ben Guite was whistled for interference.

Just as Guite's penalty expired, Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom knocked down a Niklas Kronwall shot, and passed it to Pavel Datsyuk, who slipped it past goalie Jose Theodore on his blocker side for the game's lone goal.

The lead put the Red Wings in a good position. Coming into tonight's game, the Wings were 24-2-1 when leading after two periods, and 27-3-2 when scoring first.

Early in the third, Theodore came up big, stopping Mikael Smauelsson on the feed from John Franzen to keep the Avs' deficit to one.

The Red Wings (33-8-3) have gotten at least one point in all 12 games played against the Northwest Division this season.

GAME NOTES: Holmstrom returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury against St. Louis on Dec. 20 that caused him to miss eight games. ... Kirk Maltby also returned to the line up after a back strain on Nov. 27 against Calgary ended his 188 consecutive game streak.

Three Red Wings were named starters for the Western Conference All-Star team on Tuesday: Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They will be coached in the game by Mike Babcock on Jan. 27, 2008 in Atlanta.

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