The Detroit Red Wings proved that they learned from their first-round mistakes Tuesday night, winning Game Three of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
In their first-round series with Nashville, the Red Wings failed twice on the road in Game Three and Game Four, allowing the Predators back into the series.
Pavel Datsyuk scored twice and Henrik Zetterberg added another, while Johan Franzen continued his hot streak with his 23rd goal in the past 25 games.
Cody McLeod opened the game’s scoring for the Avalanche, tipping a shot from the right wing by T.J. Hensick past Chris Osgood during a delayed penalty at 5:17 of the first.
Datsyuk scored on a Detroit power play with 7:46 left in the period to tie the game. Zetterberg drove to the net and was tied up in front, working the puck on to Datsyuk to rip into the top of the net.
Just 58 seconds later, Franzen put the Red Wings out in front. Brett Lebda picked up the loose puck in the right circle and threw it back across the ice to Franzen in the slot to rifle in past Colorado goalie Jose Theodore.
Datsyuk’s second of the night put Detroit up by a pair 6:36 into the second period. Brian Rafalski’s shot from the point was knocked down at the top of the crease by Theodore but Datsyuk was there to scoop up the rebound and put it into the net.
Andrew Brunette pulled the Avalance back to within a goal with the first of his two power play goals, tipping a John-Michael Liles shot from the blue line past Osgood at 8:08 of the second.
Zetterberg extended the Detroit lead again with 7:36 left in the period, scoring another power play goal. Zetterberg sent the puck from behind the net to Datsyuk on the right wing, then moved out to the far side of the crease to get the puck back for a tap-in.
Brunette scored his second at 5:19 of the third period, banging in the rebound of a Joe Sakic chance after Osgood lost it in his skates but the Avs would be unable to pull even.
All three Colorado goals came with an extra attacker on the ice, either during a power play or a delayed penalty. The Avalanche finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Red Wings went two-for-seven.
Osgood stopped 30 of 33 shots against in his first playoff win in Denver since 1996. Theodore made 31 saves on 35 shots.
The Avalanche saw Peter Forsberg and Scott Hannan return to the lineup but lost Ryan Smyth before the start of the game and Peter Stastny in the first period.