Conklin Stops 29 as Red Wings Blank Avalanche

Red Wings backup goaltender Ty Conklin stopped all 29 shots he faced Saturday night, helping Detroit hold off an early push by the Colorado Avalanche en route to a 3-0 win.

The Avalanche outshot the Red Wings 11-10 in the first period and carried the play early on but Conklin kept them off the scoresheet, giving his team time to find their game.

Johan Franzen finally got Detroit on the board with 2:19 left in the second period. As the Red Wings gained the Colorado zone, Jiri Hudler dropped a pass to Franzen at the top of the left circle. Franzen snapped a shot over Semyon Varlamov‘s shoulder and into the top corner of the net to make it 1-0.

Henrik Zetterberg made it 2-0 with 8:02 remaining in the third period on a give and go with Pavel Datsyuk. Zetterberg gained the Colorado zone and passed it off to Datsyuk in the high slot. Datsyuk gave it right back and Zetterberg one-timed a shot into the same corner as Franzen had scored in earlier.

Datsyuk added an empty net goal in the game’s closing minutes to wrap up the scoring.

Varlamov stopped 36 of 38 shots Detroit sent at him.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had four chances with the extra attacker and Colorado had three.

The Red Wings are now off until Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

Before the game, the Avalanche raised Peter Forsberg‘s #21 to the rafters.

Patrick Eaves was back in the Red Wings’ lineup, with Tomas Holmstrom replacing him as a healthy scratch.

Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings at Avalanche

Make no mistake, the story of the night for the Wings was Ty Conklin.

The Eurotwins being reunited so quickly and all that is interesting but that doesn’t even happen if Conklin hadn’t kept Detroit in the game early. No matter that Johan Franzen was picked as it, Conklin was the first star of the game.

That said, it was nice to see the Wings pick up steam as the game went on. They shouldn’t have had to, but they did do a great job of turning things around after the slow start.

Not a great second game of the season but there is good to take away from it. And a win is always a win.

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