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WINGS DEAL DEFEAT TO AVS, TAKE OVER NHL FIRST PLACE.....RED WINGS 3, Colorado 2, W 3/4/09
Posted on: 03-04-2009

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    The Red Wings moved into first
place overall in the NHL past idle San
Jose and Boston by beatng the
Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Wednesday night.
    Valtteri Filpula and Kris Draper both scored for the second straight night
for Detroit.
    The rubber game victory on a 2-1 road trip marked Detroit's only victory
vs the Avs all season.
    The win came hours after the Wings made none and the Avalanche made
one trade at the NHL dealing deadline.
    Former Michigan Wolverine John-Michael Liles (#8) gave the Avs a 1-0 lead on
a slapshot just 3:10 into the game.
    Filppula (#8), who was goal-less since JAN 17TH until the previous night at St.
Louis, tied this game 1-1 at 19:41/1 with a snapshot off a Tomas Kopecky feed.
The marker gave Kopecky three assists and four points in two evenings.
    Detroit then went ahead with a pair of 2nd-Per goals. Johan Franzen (#26) put in
his own rebound at 7:02/2 to make it 2-1. Draper (#7) one-timered a corner pass from
Derek Meech at 13:33/2 for a 3-1 score.
    Dominating the middle frame the Wings out-shot the Avs 12-3, but the Avalanche
would make a 3rd-Per charge to out-shoot Detroit 12-6.
    Ben Guite sent a puck through the Detroit crease and Adam Foote then hit the
goalpost in a dangerous late 3rd-Per sequence by the Avs. Moments later Milan Hejduk
had a whack at a rebound. When Colorado pulled goaltender Andrew Raycroft for an
extra attacker, Hejduk (#24) did finally best Wings netminder Ty Conklin with 1:41
remaining for a 3-2 score at 18:19/3. Conklin then smothered the puck off a scramble
that followed an Avs faceoff win with 12.9-sec to play. After Draper won the ensuing
faceoff, Henrik Zetterberg knocked away the last chance shot by Colorado's Ryan
Smyth.   
    Detroit out-shot Colorado  30-27  in a contest where only three minor penalties
were called.

QUOTEBOOK...

R-WINGS CEN VALTTERI FILPPULA:   "I've had trouble scoring goals. I'll take goals against
anyone right now."

R-WINGS GOALIE TY CONKLIN:   "My confidence wasn't affected (by Saturday's 8-0 loss at
Nashville where he yielded 4-GA on 9-SOG)...I've felt good about my game pretty much all
year...Just kind of lucked out (during the late Avalanche scramble)."

R-WINGS L-WING JOHAN FRANZEN:   "You want to try to stay up there (in first place
oerall)...I think we are starting to play better and better."

AVS Rt-WING IAN LAPERRIERE:   "You have to play 60 minutes against a team like that
and we didn't."

AVS CEN PAUL STASTNY:   "We aren't putting together complete games. We have to do
better than play out the string. We have to give a good effort."

OVERTIME:

    The Avalanche won the season series from Detroit  3-1. All four meetings were
one-goal games with the Avs winning a pair of shootouts.
    Detroit now has 94 standings points to 93 each for the Sharks and Bruins.
    Conklin made 25-V to get his 23rd win on the season.  
    Hejduk had 1-G & 1-A for the Avalanche.       
    While not making a deadline day deal, Detroit did call-up DEF Jonathan Ericsson
and Rt-Wing Aaron Downey from the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. Both played Wednesday.
Downey replaced injured Marian Hossa (head injury Tuesday at St. Louis). Both
were actually sent down then immediately recalled from G-R in an on-paper move to
keep him eligible for the AHL playoffs.   
    The Avalanche traded DEF Jordan Leopold to the Calgary Flames for two defenders and a
draft pick, acquiring Lawrence Nycholat & Ryan Wilson and a 2009 second round entry draft
choice (originally owned by Montreal).  
    The strangest NHL deadline deal on Wednesday was the third ofthe three trades made by
the salary-dumping Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts sent G Olaf Kolzig, D Jamie Heward and D
Andy Rogers (all of whom are injured) and a fourth round draft pick (originally owned by
Carolina) to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for D Richard Petiot, an eight-year pro who
has just two career NHL games.

                                                                ###      

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