The Detroit Red Wings took a 4-3 lead over the Colorado Avalanche into the third period on Saturday and their penalty killers helped them keep it through two Colorado power plays in the period, including a five-on-three chance.
Goaltender Manny Legace led the way for the Red Wings in the third, stopping all nine shots he faced including two big Avalanche chances during a flurry with the two-man power play.
The Avalanche had two chances with a two-man advantage on the game and could not score on either. Detroit’s game-winning goal came on their only five-on-three chance.
With the game tied at three and 2:58 remaining in the second period, Robert Lang scored the game’s final goal to put Detroit in the lead. With Colorado down to three men on the ice, Pavel Datsyuk was free to send a pass from down low through the crease to Lang on the other side, where he was open to bank the puck in off the skate of Colorado netminder David Aebischer.
The Red Wings had opened the game’s scoring just 49 seconds into the game. Behind the goal, Kris Draper sent the puck to Brendan Shanahan, who passed it into the slot for Datsyuk. Datsyuk quickly sent it back on net and past Aebischer to put Detroit on the board.
The Avalanche pulled back into a tie 46 seconds later, when Ian Laperriere tipped a soft shot from the point by John-Michael Liles past Legace.
Tomas Holmstrom put the Red Wings back out in front with 2:57 remaining in the period. Mark Mowers carried the puck away from the goal through the bottom of the right circle before spinning to send a pass through the crease to Holmstrom on the far side, open for an easy tip-in.
With 1:09 left in the period, Detroit took a two-goal lead on their first power play. Mathieu Schneider sent a shot on goal from the high slot through a screen. The puck deflected off Colorado blueliner Patrice Brisebois and into the net.
Colorado came back in the second period, starting with a power play goal at 1:29. Brisebois fired a shot from the point that Andrew Brunette deflected at the top of the crease to beat Legace.
With 6:37 remaining in the period and the teams skating four-on-four, Rob Blake scored to tie the game. Blake sent a shot from the point that may have deflected off of Chris Chelios and past Legace.
Lang’s game-winner came 3:39 later.
The Red Wings ended the game two-for-five on the power play and held the Avalanche to one goal on eight power play chances.
Legace made twenty saves on 23 shots while Aebischer stopped 28 of 32 shots.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Monday when they host the Nashville Predators.
Mowers was in the lineup for the second-straight game as Henrik Zetterberg rests a hip flexor. Zetterberg is expected to play on Monday… Monday’s matchup is the rescheduled November 21 game. As such, Nashville will begin the game with a 1-0 lead.