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Red Wings 4, Avalanche 2

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals each and the Detroit Red Wings ended the Colorado Avalanche's hot start with a 4-2 win Thursday night.

Daniel Alfredsson had three assists and Jonas Gustavsson made 38 saves for the Red Wings, who won their fourth straight.

Erik Johnson and Gabriel Landeskog scored for Colorado, which lost for the first time after winning its first six games of the season.

A rivalry born in blood in 1996 added a new chapter Thursday when Avalanche fourth-line left-wing Cody McLeod drove Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall into the boards with a vicious hit early in the first period.

Kronwall fell to the ice motionless as teammates came to his defense. He was put on a backboard and carried off the ice but had been moving his legs and arms. McLeod was given a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland said during the first intermission Kronwall suffered a mild concussion but did not leave the arena.

"He hasn't gone to the hospital," Holland said. "I went down to the locker room; he was talking to the doctor. He was being evaluated. He was going through the sequence of events."

His status for Saturday is unknown.

Detroit rallied behind its teammate with two goals in the third period to break a 2-all tie. Franzen beat Varlamov early in the third to make it 3-2, and Datsyuk sealed it with his fourth goal of the season at 13:35.

It was a seesaw battle early in the game.

The Red Wings took advantage of the McLeod power play when Franzen roofed a shot right in front of Varlamov to give Detroit a 1-0 lead 6 minutes, 8 seconds into the game.

Datsyuk made it 2-0 when he scored on Danny Dekeyser's rebound with five minutes left in the first.

It was the first time the Avalanche have trailed by two goals this season. They made it 2-1 when Johnson skated the length of the ice and beat Gustavsson with a slap shot with seven seconds left on a power play.

Landeskog tied it on a power play with his first goal at 14:42 of the second.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots for the Avalanche.

NOTES: Johnson's goal was his first since Feb. 17, 2012, a span of 57 games. ... Datsyuk's goal in the first period was his 16th in 40 games against Colorado. ... Detroit won all three games against Colorado last season, the clubs' last in the same conference. ... Varlamov is the first goalie in Colorado history and the franchise's third to start the season 5-0-0. Mario Gosselin did it in 1985-86 and Stephane Fiset matched it nine years later. Both came while the team was in Quebec.
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