The Detroit Red Wings allowed four goals in the first fifteen minutes Monday night and never recovered, losing to the Colorado Avalanche, 5-2, despite a late rally.
The Avalanche got on the board 5:58 into the first, when Paul Stastny pounced on the loose puck when Niklas Kronwall turned it over at the top of the crease. Before Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard knew what had happened, Stastny put the puck around him and into the net.
Jan Mursak scored his first career goal to tie things back up just 54 seconds later, sliding the rebound of a Drew Miller shot past Colorado netminder Peter Budaj.
At 8:32, Matt Duchene scored the first of his two goals, beating Howard between the pads on a rush.
Kevin Porter put the Avs up by a pair with 7:32 left in the period, snapping a shot past Howard from the inside edge of the right faceoff circle.
Duchene’s second of the night made it 4-1 with 5:45 remaining in the first, working the give-and-go on a two-on-one with Tomas Fleischmann and putting the puck into the open side of the net.
Howard was replaced by Joey MacDonald after the fourth Colorado goal.
Brian Rafalski cut the Avalanche lead to two goals with two minutes remaining in the period, snapping a shot from the high slot past Budaj.
David Jones restored the three goal lead at 6:51 of the second, beating the sprawling MacDonald with a backhander on a rush with Duchene after Kris Draper’s chance missed the net and bounced out of the zone at the other end.
Henrik Zetterberg banged home a rebound chance on a Detroit power play with 4:30 left in the middle period to once again pull the Red Wings to within a pair.
At 9:45 of the third, Tomas Holmstrom tipped a Zetterberg shot past Budaj for the Red Wings’ second power play goal of the night, drawing them to within a goal.
Detroit would be unable to pull even as Colorado held on for the win.
The Red Wings finished the night with two goals on three power play chances while the Avalanche were scoreless in five tries with the extra attacker.
MacDonald stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced but picked up the loss. Howard made six stops on ten shots while Budaj stopped 26 of 30 Detroit chances.
The Red Wings will return home before visiting Columbus on Friday for the last of five consecutive road games.
Valtteri Filppula returned to the Detroit lineup after missing two games with a groin injury. Tomas Tatar was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins with Filppula’s return… Goalie Chris Osgood will miss six-to-eight weeks recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia.