DENVER, Colorado -- The penalty killers for the Detroit Red Wings successfully defended all five chances the Colorado Avalanche had against them and Detroit's power play units scored twice to help the Red Wings to a 3-2 overtime victory over the Avalanche.
Colorado opened the scoring early, beating Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph twice in the first two minutes of the game.
The game's first goal came on a bad clearing attempt by Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Teemu Selanne blocked the outlet pass and picked up the puck. He fired a weak backhander that slipped by the screed Joseph just 1:34 into the game, putting the Avs on the scoreboard.
Alex Tanguay put Colorado up by two just 18 seconds later. Tanguay got the puck from Milan Hejduk after the faceoof following Selanne's goal. He sped up the left side of the ice and outraced a Detroit defender. He then outwaited the sprawling Joseph and put the puck in the net.
At the 1:52 mark of the first period, the Avalanche led by two. They would not score again in the remaining 59:05 of the game.
Ray Whitney got the Red Wings back in the game with a power play goal 6:40 into the first. With Avalanche tough guy Peter Worrell in the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, Whitney took a cross-ice pass from Pavel Datsyuk and fired a blast from the high slot area. The goal was the 200th of his career came 28 seconds into Worrell's penalty.
Darren McCarty and Mathieu Dandenault, two unlikely heros, combined to tie the game with 8:01 remaining in the second period. McCarty carried the puck into the right corner of the Avalanche zone and backhanded a pass out to Dandenault as he cut through the slot. Dandenault bounced a backhand shot through Colorado goaltender David Aebischer and the game was tied.
The third period was scoreless dispite an early Avalanche power play when the Red Wings were called for an argueable too many men on the ice penalty.
With 1.6 seconds remaining in regulation, the Avs took a penalty of their own as Steve Konowalchuk high-sticked Kris Draper. Blood was drawn, so the penalty was an automatic double-minor. On the ensuing faceoff, Adam Foote lifted his stick into Detroit captain Steve Yzerman's face and took another double minor penalty. Heading into overtime, the Red Wings had a two-man advantage.
Skating five-on-three in the extra period, Detroit had an early chance bounce off the post but Brett Hull capitalized on the chance with the man-advantage 57 seconds into overtime. Hull one-timed a pass from Lidstrom past Aebischer to give the Wings the win.
Joseph stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced in net for Detroit. Aebischer made 28 saves on 31 shots for Colorado.
The Red Wings are back in action on Wednesday night against the San Jose Sharks. In the meantime, Lidstrom and Datsyuk will be in St. Paul, Minnesota for the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.