DENVER -- More highly anticipated than the actual Stadium Series, the Alumni Game at Coors Field featured some of the top players from the history of the bitter Detroit Red Wings-Colorado Avalanche rivalry.
DET-COL Alumni Game
Unfortunately, due to recent hernia surgery, Chris Osgood could not participate in the game so Ty Conklin got the start in goal for Detroit.
Manny Legace is the other Detroit goaltender.
Naturally, one of the main centerpieces of the rivalry, Patrick Roy, currently the coach of the Avalanche, started for Colorado.
"I think it might be friendly at the start and then it might change over the course of the game," Roy said after his young team practiced Friday morning. "We’re all young inside of us and we all love competing. It’ll be fun. I’m curious to see how it’s going to go. The third period will probably be the best one."
Adam Foote made some comments on a local Denver radio station, saying he still did not care for Kris Draper.
Draper did not seem too concerned. He said he, Darren McCarty, Dino Ciccarelli and Joe Kocur shared a laugh about it when they heard it.
"Honestly, I don’t care," Draper said. "I don’t know how many times I played against him and how many opportunities he had to do that and nothing happened. I’m not worried about it. There were 1,000 to 1,500 tickets available for the game this morning and now it’s a sellout. We can thank him for that. He did his job."
After the introductions and the hoopla, the game started at a 58.8 degree temperature.
Boyd Devereaux, a forward, generously offered to play defense, paired with Nick Lidstrom.
Draper had made the same offer, as long as he could play with Lidstrom.
The Avalanche got on the board first on a goal by Valery Kamensky about five minutes into the game.
Peter Forsberg and Claude Lemieux, two of the other main characters in the rivalry, assisted.
Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman tied the game at 9:25, on a rebound of Mathieu Dandenault's shot. Doug Brown got the second assist.
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic delighted the fans when he scored for the 2-1 lead at 13:27.
AVALANCHE 2, RED WINGS 1
SCORING: 1. COL, Valeri Kamensky (1), Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux, 5:09. 2. DET, Steve Yzerman (1), Mathieu Dandenault, Doug Brown, 9:25. 3. COL, Joe Sakic (1), Ray Bourque, 13:27.
SHOTS: Detroit 11, Colorado 5.
Tomas Holmstrom found himself in an odd place in the second, behind the Colorado net instead of in front of Roy.
Holmstrom was hit there but was not hurt.
Midway through the period, Manny Legace replaced Conklin in goal.
Milan Hejduk scored at 15:33 of the second, assisted by Mike Ricci and Sakic.
Dino Ciccarelli had an open left side of the net but fanned on the initial shot and Roy was able to get back in time to stop the rebound attempt at 17:30.
AVALANCHE 3, RED WINGS 1
SCORING: 1. COL, Milan Hejduk (1), Mike Ricci, Joe Sakic, 15:33.
SHOTS: Detroit 10 (21), Colorado 6 (11).
Not a bad showing for Roy, who made 20 saves in the first two periods.
He was replaced by Craig Billington to start the third.
But that did not change Colorado's momentum as Ray Bourque's shot from the left point beat Legace at 1:01. Shjon Podein and Dan Hinote assisted.
Apparently penalties in the third periods of alumni games aren't served normally.
Instead, the offended team gets to take a penalty shot.
Tomas Holmstrom was awarded a penalty shot at 5:40 of the third but Billington made the save, preserving the three-goal lead.
Three minutes later, Ricci had a chance for a penalty shot. He made the sign of the cross before skating out but Legace made the stop.
The Wings cut the Avalanche lead to 4-2 when Brendan Shanahan scored a rebound goal at 14:39 of the third.
Stephane Yelle scores on a 2-on-1 with Chris Simon at 17:32, collecting his own rebound for the 5-2 lead.
AVALANCHE 5, RED WINGS 2
SCORING: 1. DET, Brendan Shanahan (1), , Chris Chelios, 14:39. 2. COL, Stephane Yelle (1), Ray Bourque, 17:32.
SHOTS: Detroit 17 (38), Colorado 8 (19).