Speedy defenseman Jordan Leopold scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give Colorado a 6-5 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
Wojtek Wolski also scored in the shootout to help Colorado end a four-game losing streak. Andrew Raycroft stopped 40 shots in regulation and overtime, then only allowed Henrik Zetterberg’s goal in the second round of the tiebreaker.
“Going up against guys like (Pavel) Datsyuk and Zetterberg and (Marian) Hossa—it’s challenging and it certainly keeps you focused,” Raycroft said.
It was Colorado’s third straight win over Detroit this season.
“Maybe they play a little too wide-open against us. I’m not sure,” Colorado’s Adam Foote said.
The Avalanche won 3-2 in their other visit to Joe Louis Arena, Dec. 15, as Leopold scored on a penalty shot.
“Leo is one of the guys we’ve had in our back pocket for quite a while as the fourth or fifth shooter,” Colorado coach Tony Granato said. “He had a penalty-shot goal the last time we were in here and he’s good in practice in those situations. We told him to be ready to be one of the extra shooters. He made a nice shot.”
Laperriere opened the scoring just 16 seconds into Sunday’s game. It came after Brian Rafalski overskated the puck where Chris Osgood left it for him at the side of the net. Cody McCormick picked up the loose puck and passed it in front to Laperriere.
“There were lots of changes in momentum going in this game,” Hossa said.
Osgood also had other problems as both Guite’s and Hejduk’s goals came when Osgood couldn’t handle the puck cleanly in the crease.
“They got good bounces, you know,” Hudler said.
Hejduk tied at 5 with 7:29 left in the third with his 21st goal. He tipped in a rebound shot, from just outside the crease. The puck slowly slid into the net between Osgood’s and Lidstrom’s skates.
Detroit overcame a 2-0 deficit in the second period to take a 3-2 lead.
Colorado stretched its led to 2-0 just 23 seconds into the period on Salei’s fourth goal. He beat Osgood with a slap shot from along the boards.
“When we go up 1-0 on the first shift and 2-0 early in the second, you know they’re going to start putting pucks on the net,” Raycroft said. “They’re going to draw penalties and you’re going to have to make some saves.”
Cleary put the Red Wings on the board with the first of his two power-play goals. The first came at 4:21, when he deflected Lidstrom’s shot from just below crossbar level. A delayed penalty was being called on Salei as Cleary scored and was assessed. Scott Hannan then got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to give Detroit a two-man advantage.
Cleary then tipped another shot by Lidstrom out of the air, this one from about knee level, at 4:47 to tie it at 2.
Hossa gave Detroit the lead, with his first goal, with 8:38 left when he scored from the top of the right circle.
Referee Dan O’Rourke missed the start of the game. Dan O’Halloran served as the lone referee until O’Rourke got onto the ice 9:57 into the first period. … Colorado LW Ryan Smyth played his 900th game. … Detroit RW Johan Franzen missed his fifth game because of a hand injury. … Avalanche D Adam Foote returned after missing 17 games with a triceps injury. … Red Wings D Brett Lebda missed his second game with a sore back … Avalanche RW Darcy Tucker missed the game because of an illness in the family. … The goal 16 seconds into the game was the fastest allowed by Detroit this season. The previous fastest was 1:07, also by the Avalanche (Wolski) on Dec. 15. … Detroit’s Darren Helm got his first career regular-season point when he assisted on Hudler’s goal.