for this game

Franzen, Zetterberg help Red Wings complete sweep

May 2, 2008 - 6:53 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Before the opening faceoff, the chances of the injury-riddled Colorado Avalanche winning were slim. Once play began, Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg completely erased them.

Franzen recorded his second hat trick in three games and Zetterberg added two goals and two assists as the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings completed a sweep of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series with the sixth-seeded Avalanche on Thursday by posting a lopsided 8-2 victory.

Mikael Samuelsson also scored twice, Tomas Holmstrom added a goal and Pavel Datsyuk collected three assists for the Red Wings, who advanced to the conference finals for the second straight seasons.

"Pavel and Hank, in my opinion, are superstars in this league, and we've got more coming," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said, eluding to Franzen. "Things couldn't be better for us."

The Red Wings also swept the four-game regular-season series against the Avalanche.

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula each notched a pair of assists for Detroit, which awaits the winner of the semifinal series between San Jose and Dallas.

"It's going to be tough wherever we play," Lidstrom said. "Whether it's San Jose or Dallas, we've had tough battles with them in the past. Both teams are playing real well, too, so it's going to be a battle whoever we play."

"Now we get a few days off," Zetterberg said. "We don't know who the next opponent is going to be, we'll have to wait and see. We get a few days off to refocus and have some good practices."

Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood is just glad the series against Colorado was not extended.

"Does it matter who is next? Not whatsoever," said Osgood, who improved to 6-0 this postseason. "We're just happy to close it out, get some rest and get ready for the next series."

Tyler Arnason and defenseman John-Michael Liles netted goals for the Avalanche, who have been swept in the conference semifinals in each of their past two postseason appearances. In 2006, Colorado failed to record a victory in the second round against Anaheim.

"What happened tonight, it's not fun being swept for anybody," Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said. "There's good days, and you have to take the praise on the good days, and there are bad days where you have to accept that you failed. We're not feeling good about it, that's for sure."

"Tonight really wasn't a reflection of our series or the playoffs, or our season," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "There was a lot to be excited about the way things developed over the course of the year. ... There were some encouraging signs. Our young kids got us through some challenging periods of the season."

The Avalanche entered Game Four a battered team, as top offensive threats Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Paul Stastny, Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos all were sidelined with injuries.

"The injury bug was the one nemesis that we had to deal with all year," Quenneville said.

"It's no excuse," Colorado's Andrew Brunette said. "The things that we did to hurt us, it didn't matter who was in the lineup. Those are hard things to overcome against (the Red Wings)."

They managed to answer Samuelsson's first goal of the game with one on the power play by Arnason at 6:51 of the first period before the Red Wings turned it up a few notches and scored the next seven.

After Holmstrom put Detroit ahead for good with 86 seconds remaining in the opening session, Franzen and Zetterberg put on a clinic, netting the next five goals for a commanding 7-1 advantage.

"We weren't as good, obviously, in this series," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said. "They were great. That's a great hockey club over there. They were firing on all cylinders."

Along the way, Franzen set or matched five franchise playoff records. The 28-year-old Swede eclipsed the marks for most goals in one postseason (11) and one playoff series (nine) while equaling the club records for most hat tricks (two) and game-winning goals (four) in a postseason and most hat tricks in one series (two).

With 39 seconds left in the first, Franzen extended his goal-scoring streak to four games by beating goaltender Jose Theodore to the stick side from the right faceoff circle after receiving a return pass from Filppula during a 2-on-1 rush.

That goal proved to be the game-winner, Franzen's third of the series. He also netted the deciding tally in Games One and Two.

"It's all about winning games right now," Osgood said. "We have guys that are playing great right now and scoring some beautiful goals. Offensively, we're just clicking on all cylinders."

Petr Klima and Vyacheslav Kozlov (twice) also have scored four game-winning goals in one postseason for the Red Wings.

Theodore, who allowed three goals on 15 shots in the first period, was pulled for the third time in the series in favor of Peter Budaj, who fared no better in the second.

During a power play, Zetterberg beat Budaj with a one-timer from above the right circle as Holmstrom set a perfect screen. Just 3 1/2 minutes later, Zetterberg made it 5-1 with an amazing tally.

After his initial shot from the left circle was stopped by Budaj, Zetterberg was knocked to the ice. Without looking, he hit the rebound with his backhand and the puck deflected off a defender and into the net at 5:45 for his 22nd career postseason goal.

"I took a shot and I saw the rebound come out," Zetterberg explained. "I kind of lost my balance. I just turned around and hoped for the best, and I had a pretty good whack on it."

Franzen netted the next two tallies to become the first NHL player to record two hat tricks in one postseason series since Hall of Famer Jari Kurri, who registered three for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1985 Western Conference finals against the Chicago Blackhawks. He also joined Norm Ullman as the only Red Wings to accomplish the feat.

With Detroit shorthanded, Franzen - who is nicknamed "The Mule" - converted a cross-slot pass by Zetterberg on another 2-on-1 at 11:37 for a 6-1 cushion.

"I saw 'The Mule' was coming," Zetterberg said. "He was close to the record, and you want to be part of that. I went for the odds, too. He's pretty hot, so I just tried to get the puck to him, and he scored."

Franzen then redirected Lidstrom's slap shot from above the right circle past Budaj during a power play with 2:45 left in the period to complete the hat trick.

"They're good. They're real good," Brunette said of the Red Wings. "We played a little bit into their hands for a lot of the series. We had the momentum here and there, we just seemed to be careless with the puck, careless picking up men, careless in all different areas that can kill you. Right now, it's a pretty disgusting feeling."

It was the league-leading 11th goal of the postseason for Franzen, who surpassed the franchise mark of 10 previously shared by Klima, Sergei Fedorov and Brett Hull. It also was his ninth of the series, overtaking the club record set by Hall of Famer Gordie Howe in seven games of the 1949 Stanley Cup semifinals against Montreal.

"Anytime you get mentioned with him, it's a great honor," Franzen said. "He's a big hero. It's always fun when he comes down to the locker room. Beating his records is really something special."

Franzen's nine goals in the series equaled Colorado's overall total.

Dating back to March 2, Franzen has scored 26 goals in his last 26 games. Entering the 2007-08 season, he had 22 tallies in 149 career contests.

"He was playing real well in the month of March," Lidstrom said. "We had Holmstrom out and a couple of other guys out, and he had a chance to play on the first power-play unit. He really took advantage of that. And once he scored a few goals, his confidence really grew.

"He made some huge strides to become a more rounded player. When he first came here, he was a checker and a penalty-killer. Now, he's playing so well for that second power-play unit and scoring so many goals. He's been a real impact player for us in this series."

Samuelsson tipped in a pass from Hudler at 8:02 of the third for an 8-1 bulge before Liles beat Osgood with a slapper from the blue line during a 5-on-3 power play 2:24 later to cap the scoring.

Sakic recorded his second assist of the game on Liles' goal, tying him with Doug Gilmour for seventh place on the all-time postseason scoring list with 188 points.

Samuelsson opened the scoring at 4:32 with a slap shot from above the right circle that slipped by Theodore. But after hitting the post less than a minute earlier, Arnason beat Osgood to the stick side from the doorstep on Colorado's first shot of the game to forge a 1-1 tie.

Holmstrom made it 2-1 late in the first by beating Theodore on the first of three 2-on-1s by Detroit.

"Those guys capitalized on our mistakes," Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said. "That's what they do. You can't give them odd-man rushes. You can't play open hockey."

Osgood made 29 saves for Detroit, which outshot Colorado, 15-5, in the first period and by a 35-17 margin after 40 minutes.

"We just wanted to stay sharp," Osgood said. "I don't want to sound boring, but we stuck to our game plan. We wanted to get pucks deep and just be smart."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 3 4 1 8
    COLORADO 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 1 (ANDREAS LILJA) 4:33
    COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JOE SAKIC) 6:51
    DET - TOMAS HOLMSTROM 2 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, PAVEL DATSYUK)
    18:34
    DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 9 (VALTTERI

    May 2 12:33 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 8
    COLORADO 2
    3RD PRD: COL - (PP) JOHN-MICHAEL LILES 2 (RUSLAN SALEI, JOE SAKIC)
    10:26 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Red Wings 8, Avalanche 2  3rd - 9:34May 2 12:19 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 8
    COLORADO 1
    3RD PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 2 (JIRI HUDLER, VALTTERI FILPPULA)
    8:02

    Red Wings 8, Avalanche 1  3rd - 11:58May 2 12:15 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 3 4 7
    COLORADO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 1 (ANDREAS LILJA) 4:33
    COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JOE SAKIC) 6:51
    DET - TOMAS HOLMSTROM 2 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, PAVEL DATSYUK)
    18:34
    DET - JOHAN FRANZEN

    May 1 11:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 7
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) JOHAN FRANZEN 11 (NICKLAS LIDSTROM, JIRI HUDLER)
    17:15

    Red Wings 7, Avalanche 1  2nd - 2:45May 1 11:41 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 6
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: DET - (SH) JOHAN FRANZEN 10 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG) 11:37

    Red Wings 6, Avalanche 1  2nd - 8:23May 1 11:29 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 5
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: DET - HENRIK ZETTERBERG 7 (PAVEL DATSYUK) 5:45

    Red Wings 5, Avalanche 1  2nd - 14:15May 1 11:15 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 4
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 6 (NICKLAS LIDSTROM, PAVEL
    DATSYUK) 2:15

    Red Wings 4, Avalanche 1  2nd - 17:45May 1 11:12 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 3 3
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 1 (ANDREAS LILJA) 4:33
    COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JOE SAKIC) 6:51
    DET - TOMAS HOLMSTROM 2 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, PAVEL DATSYUK)
    18:34
    DET - JOHAN FRANZEN

    May 1 10:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 3
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 9 (VALTTERI FILPPULA, BRAD STUART) 19:21

    Red Wings 3, Avalanche 1  1st - 0:39May 1 10:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: DET - TOMAS HOLMSTROM 2 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, PAVEL DATSYUK)
    18:34

    Red Wings 2, Avalanche 1  1st - 1:26May 1 10:46 PM
  • 30
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 1, Avalanche 1  1st - 3:00May 1 10:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 2 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, JOE SAKIC) 6:51

    Red Wings 1, Avalanche 1  1st - 13:09May 1 10:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 1 (ANDREAS LILJA) 4:33

    Red Wings 1, Avalanche 0  1st - 15:27May 1 10:21 PM
  • 25
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