for this game

Franzen scores twice as Red Wings strike first

Apr 25, 2008 - 4:14 AM
DETROIT (Ticker) -- After jumping to a seemingly comfortable lead, the Detroit Red Wings were forced to hang on for dear life.

Johan Franzen scored two goals and set up another as the top-seeded Red Wings opened a three-goal bulge before hanging on for a 4-3 victory over the sixth-seeded Colorado Avalanche in Game One of their Western Conference semifinal series on Thursday.

Henrik Zetterberg and Daniel Cleary also scored and defenseman Brian Rafalski added two assists for Detroit, which hosts Game Two on Saturday.

"Good win," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We played real well in the first, then we stopped skating and hung on. Their level of urgency went up and we seemed to relax."

Chris Osgood made 18 saves for the Red Wings, who outshot the Avalanche, 36-21.

"We played good. I think both teams did," Osgood said. "Nobody's ever going to run away with a game. Two really good teams. ... We just have to stay composed and be smart out there."

Paul Stastny, defenseman John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk tallied for Colorado, which played without superstar Peter Forsberg due to a sore groin.

"He pulled his groin in the morning skate," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "We were hoping he would be able to go, but he wasn't able to go through pregame warmups. Obviously, you miss Peter's talent because he attracts a lot of attention from the opposition. But we're used to him being in and out (of the lineup)."

Colorado also lost the services of Wojtek Wolski, who suffered an upper body injury in the first period and did not return.

"I don't know exactly what happened to him," said Avalanche left wing Ryan Smyth, who notched a pair of assists. "He's a power forward that takes the puck to the net. He's a huge asset for us. When you lose a guy like that, it's tough on the rotation of the lines."

After posting shutouts in each of the final three regular-season meetings between the teams, the Red Wings fell behind early as Stastny received a backhand pass from behind the net by Smyth and beat Osgood from the doorstep at 8:53 of the first period.

It marked the seventh time the Avalanche have scored first in as many games this postseason.

But Colorado's lead lasted just 53 seconds as Zetterberg netted his 18th career playoff goal to forge a tie.

Zetterberg left the puck for Pavel Datsyuk above the left faceoff circle and received a return pass just above the end line. Skating to the top of the crease, the Swede slipped a shot past goaltender Jose Theodore at 9:46 for his third tally this postseason.

"It was a great pass by Pav," Zetterberg said. "Both their guys went on Pav, so I was basically by myself and it was a nice feed. It was good to see the puck go in. ... It was nice to get that one right away when they opened the scoring."

A fluke play gave Detroit the lead for good with 6:12 remaining in the first.

From the right circle, Cleary unleashed a wrist shot that Theodore stopped. The puck popped high into the air and bounced into the net before anyone was able to locate it, giving the Red Wings a 2-1 edge.

"It's nice to get one," Cleary said. "It was a good break. Anytime you create offense for yourself, it creates confidence, and you seem to play better with that."

Franzen converted a power-play opportunity with 2:37 left, deflecting defenseman Niklas Kronwall's slap shot from the blue line past Theodore for a 3-1 advantage.

"He's got good hockey sense, so he makes the right plays out there," Zetterberg said of Franzen. "It's really fun to see him scoring some goals because he's working really hard."

The 28-year-old Swede, who set a franchise record for game-winning goals in a month by scoring six in March, netted his second this postseason just 73 seconds into the middle period. Franzen drilled a one-timer from the left circle that beat Theodore to the stick side, giving Detroit a three-goal cushion.

"It seems like it keeps going," Franzen said of his recent success. "I was a little bit up and down in the first series against Nashville. A couple good games and then I was down a couple. ... A mental block for me, but it's fun to contribute."

"He's been a key guy for them down the stretch," Quenneville said. "Their top line is dangerous, but he's the next guy you have to worry about. He's got skill and he's a big power forward."

That spelled the end of the night for Theodore, who was replaced by Peter Budaj after yielding four goals on 16 shots. The former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner actually returned to the Avalanche's hotel due to a case of the flu, forcing Tyler Weiman to dress as Budaj's backup for the remainder of the game.

"Jose was sick last night," Quenneville added. "Normally, he skates the morning of a game. But he rested all day and he wanted to play. He's not feeling great right now. But hopefully, it's a short spell and he'll be fine."

"He was a little under the weather," Smyth added. "I don't think this was all his fault, for sure. He's carried us the last series. He'll get some rest and he'll be ready to go (Saturday). He's a big part of this ship right now. It was an unfortunate thing to lose him."

Budaj held the fort, turning aside all 20 shots he faced as Colorado staged a comeback attempt.

"We came out really skating, jumping and moving the puck and going to the net," Babcock said. "Then we didn't shoot the puck or go to the net and, all of a sudden, they're on top of us."

Liles beat Osgood to the short side with a slap shot from the left circle at 5:17 of the second, and Hejduk converted a cross-slot pass by Stastny with 3:31 left in the period, drawing the Avalanche within 4-3.

"It's the time of year nobody goes away," Cleary said. "You really have to keep your foot on the pedal, keep putting them down. Once it's 4-2, they make it 4-3. It was a nice play on the 3-on-2 rush."

But Detroit held Colorado to just six shots in the third and Osgood made a big save on Liles from alone in front in the final minute to preserve the victory.

"(Osgood) kind of saved the day for us there," Zetterberg said. "He made that save, it was great to see that. Otherwise, it would have been tough to go into overtime."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 2 0 3
    DETROIT 3 1 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 8:53
    DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:46
    DET - DANIEL CLEARY 1 (JOHAN FRANZEN, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 13:48
    DET - (PP) JOHAN FRANZEN 3 (N

    Apr 24 10:04 PM
  • 20
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Avalanche 3, Red Wings 4  3rd - 2:10Apr 24 9:58 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 2 3
    DETROIT 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 8:53
    DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:46
    DET - DANIEL CLEARY 1 (JOHAN FRANZEN, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 13:48
    DET - (PP) JOHAN

    Apr 24 9:11 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 3
    DETROIT 4
    2ND PRD: COL - MILAN HEJDUK 3 (PAUL STASTNY, RYAN SMYTH) 16:29

    Avalanche 3, Red Wings 4  2nd - 3:31Apr 24 9:05 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 2
    DETROIT 4
    2ND PRD: COL - JOHN-MICHAEL LILES 1 (CODY MCLEOD, SCOTT HANNAN) 5:17

    Avalanche 2, Red Wings 4  2nd - 14:43Apr 24 8:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 1
    DETROIT 4
    2ND PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 4 (VALTTERI FILPPULA, MIKAEL SAMUELSSON)
    1:13

    Avalanche 1, Red Wings 4  2nd - 18:47Apr 24 8:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 1 1
    DETROIT 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 8:53
    DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:46
    DET - DANIEL CLEARY 1 (JOHAN FRANZEN) 13:48
    DET - (PP) JOHAN FRANZEN 3 (NIKL

    Apr 24 8:18 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 1
    DETROIT 3
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) JOHAN FRANZEN 3 (NIKLAS KRONWALL, JIRI HUDLER)
    17:23

    Avalanche 1, Red Wings 3  1st - 2:37Apr 24 8:16 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 1
    DETROIT 2
    1ST PRD: DET - DANIEL CLEARY 1 (JOHAN FRANZEN) 13:48

    Avalanche 1, Red Wings 2  1st - 6:12Apr 24 8:04 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 1
    DETROIT 1
    1ST PRD: DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:46

    Avalanche 1, Red Wings 1  1st - 10:14Apr 24 7:56 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL COLORADO 1
    DETROIT 0
    1ST PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 2 (RYAN SMYTH, MILAN HEJDUK) 8:53

    Avalanche 1, Red Wings 0  1st - 11:07Apr 24 7:54 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Avalanche vs. Red WingsApr 24 7:36 PM