Johan Franzen scored his first playoff hat trick on Saturday, continuing his hot streak that started in March and leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game Two of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.
Franzen scored the game’s first goals – both on the power play – to get the Red Wings rolling.
At 4:22 of the first period, Franzen tipped a hard shot by Mikael Samuelsson past Avalanche goalie Jose Theodore.
Just 4:04 into the second period, he added another one, coming out from behind the net with the puck to roof a backhander over Theodore.
Valtteri Filppula made it a three-goal lead only 1:38 later slipping a backhander past Theodore after a Dallas Drake shot bounced off the back boards.
With 9:49 left in the period, Henrik Zetterberg rifled a shot into the net while on a two-on-one with Tomas Holmstrom, leading to Theodore’s early exit for the second game in a row.
Cody McCormick tried to give the Avalanche life, challenging Darren McCarty to a fight and earning the takedown, but Colorado couldn’t bounce back and couldn’t stay calm, taking five undisciplined penalties throughout the second half of the period.
Ian Laperriere got the Avalanche on the board at 2:38 of the third but it would be their only goal.
Franzen completed his hat trick at 8:47 of the closing frame, scoring on a two-on-one with Zetterberg while the Red Wings were shorthanded.
Zetterberg carried the puck into the Colorado zone down the left wing. He faked around Joe Sakic and put a shot into goalie Peter Budaj. Franzen followed up with a rebound chance and the puck popped into the air, where he smacked it past Budaj for the game’s final goal.
Theodore stopped 16 of 20 shots before being replaced by Budaj, who made 19 stops on the same number of chances. Detroit netminder Chris Osgood also stopped 19 of 20 shots.
Game Three of the series will be Tuesday in Denver.
The last Red Wing to score a playoff hat trick was Darren McCarty, who scored three times in Game One of Detroit’s 2002 series with Colorado… Before the game, Colorado’s Cody McLeod scooped up an octopus from the ice – in direct violation of the new NHL rule – and taunted the Red Wings bench with it.