Having a star player knocked out of the game will tend to make a team testy.
Lidstrom was checked into the boards by Ian Laperriere in the first period. He hobbled off the ice—with the assistance of a referee—and didn’t return.
“I think it was a little lack of respect by him,” said Henrik Zetterberg, who scored two goals in the second period. “I don’t think it should have happened.”
Aaron Downey went after Laperriere later in the period. The two exchanged blows before being separated, both drawing penalties for fighting.
Downey and Laperriere squared off again in front of Detroit’s bench early in the third period. They then argued through the glass in the penalty box as they served 10-minute majors.
“We can’t be running the superstars out of our game,” Downey said. “If you want to have a good, clean hit, go out there and have a good, clean hit. I have no problem with that. But when the elbows are up, when you hit probably one of the best defensemen to play the game, it’s a joke in my mind. So the message is similar: The next time anyone runs one of our guys the way it shouldn’t be done, then the message will be sent. Fair justice is fair justice.”
Laperriere didn’t understand all the commotion. He thought the hit was fair.
“The referee said it wasn’t illegal,” he said. “I play hard. Hopefully, he’s going to be OK. I respect him a lot.”
The Red Wings didn’t know the extent of the injury to Lidstrom, who came in leading NHL defenseman with 57 points. Detroit coach Mike Babcock didn’t think it was too serious.
“He’ll probably end up with a few days off,” Babcock said. “I don’t know if he’s going to be out a week or 10 days.”
Babcock wasn’t a big fan of the hit on his five-time Norris Trophy winner.
“I wasn’t very impressed with what happened,” Babcock said. “I watched the replay a number of times and I didn’t like the play.”
Osgood broke out of his funk, earning his 47th career shutout by stopping 18 shots. The All-Star goalie entered the game having been pulled from his last two starts after giving up a combined seven goals.
“Things were going so well for four months,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting that to keep up the entire season. But then I wasn’t expecting it to be that bad for two games. It evens out and tonight I got a shutout and it gets you back in the swing of things.”
The Red Wings swept the four-game season series with Colorado. It’s only the second time that Detroit has swept the Avalanche since they moved to Denver in 1995-96.
Zetterberg’s goals came 2:16 apart in the second period, his 34th and 35th goals of the season. He’s tied with Jarome Iginla for third place in goals. Pavel Datsyuk had three assists, giving him 51 this season and a share of the league lead.
Colorado scored just two goals against the Red Wings this season with Dominik Hasek, who’s currently out with a hip injury, picking up two shutouts.
The Avalanche have dropped four in a row, and four straight at home. They are 3-8-2 in their last 13 at home, but were 15-3-0 before their recent slide.
“That was a bad performance,” Andrew Brunette said. “That’s four bad performances in a row at home. This was the worst of the four, by far. We are getting pushed around and have stopped pushing the puck.”
Colorado captain Joe Sakic (hernia surgery) and F Paul Stastny (groin) are expected to accompany the team on a five-game road trip that begins Wednesday night in Anaheim. … The Red Wings have the league’s best road record at 21-8-3. … With his goal on Oct. 8 against Edmonton, Chelios became the second-oldest player in league history to score. Chelios’ slap shot near the blue line against Colorado slipped past Jose Theodore for his second goal of the season, this one at the age of 46 years, 24 days.