The loss was the first of the season for the Avalanche and the first of Colorado head coach Patrick Roy‘s NHL career.
The game started with the Red Wings losing top defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Just 2:13 in, Kronwall crouched to play the puck in the corner of his own end and Colorado forward Cody McLeod came at him from behind, driving his head into the glass.
Kronwall was carried off the ice on a stretcher. The Red Wings later announced that he had a mild concussion. McLeod would receive a five-minute major and be ejected for the hit.
On the ensuing power play Franzen opened the scoring. At 6:08 of the period, Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass from the right wing to Franzen at the edge of the crease. Franzen quickly turned with the puck and flicked it over Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov to put Detroit up, 1-0.
With five minutes left in the first Datsyuk got on the board. Danny DeKeyser threw a shot from the point on net and Datsyuk was there to fling the rebound past Varlamov to extend Detroit’s lead.
Eric Johnson cut that lead to 2-1 at 2:36 of the second with a power play goal. Johnson carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the Detroit end, reaching the top of the left faceoff circle before wristing a heavy, unscreened shot past Red Wings’ netminder Jonas Gustavsson.
With 5:18 left in the middle frame, Gabriel Landeskog tied things up on another power play goal. Off a faceoff win in the neutral zone by Paul Stastny, Landeskog carried the puck into the Detroit end and snapped a shot from the high slot past Gustavsson to make it 2-2.
Franzen restored the Detroit lead with his second power play goal of the night at 7:10 of the third. On a transition play, Justin Abdelkader got the puck in the right faceoff circle and fed Franzen at the opposite faceoff dot for a wrister past a moving Varlamov.
Datsyuk would wrap up the scoring with 6:25 left. Jumping up from the top of the right circle, Datsyuk took a feed from Daniel Alfredsson and backhanded a shot on Varlamov from the slot, then followed it up and knocked his own rebound into the back of the net.
Varlamov finished the night with 24 saves on 28 shots against. Gustavsson – in his third consecutive start as Jimmy Howard recovers from a bruised hand – stopped 38 of 40.
Each team scored twice on five power play attempts.
The Red Wings now travel to Arizona for a Saturday visit to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Brendan Smith, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.