NHL Game Summary - Detroit at Colorado
(Thursday, December 27th)
Final Score: Detroit 4, Colorado 2
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Valtteri Filppula scored a pair of goals as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, at the Pepsi Center.
Mikael Samuelsson notched a goal and an assist while Niklas Kronvall tallied three assists for the Red Wings, who have won three straight and are 13-1-1 in their last 15 games.
"It really feels good," said Filppula. "It's fun out there right now. We're getting chances. I'm getting some real good opportunities to shoot."
Dominik Hasek stopped 22 shots for the 374th win of his career, which puts him in a tie with John Vanbiesbrouck for 11th place all-time.
"The important thing tonight is that we played with a lead all game," said Hasek. "In the third we were smart defensively. I did not have to make too many difficult saves."
Cody McLeod scored the first goal of his NHL career and Marek Svatos also lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who had won five of six coming into the game. Peter Budaj made 25 saves in a losing effort.
"Obviously they are a very skilled team," said Colorado's Ryan Smyth. "It was a great game to the bitter end. It's back to the drawing board now. We just couldn't get anything tonight."
Colorado got some bad news before the game as it was determined that captain Joe Sakic will undergo hernia surgery and miss most of the rest of the regular season. The surgery will sideline Sakic, 38, for about eight to 12 weeks. He has already missed the team's last 12 games and hasn't played since November 30.
Detroit got the first score of the game on Filppula's 12th goal of the season with 7:04 left in the first period.
Filppula made it a 2-0 game with under three minutes left in the first as he banged in the rebound off a Kronvall shot from the high slot.
However, Colorado got one back just 1:32 later as McLeod tipped a pass at the blueline, skated in on a breakaway and lifted the puck into the right corner of the net.
The Avs tied the game less than six minutes into the second period. On the rush, Jaroslav Hlinka wristed a shot on net that Hasek saved, but Svatos banged in the rebound.
However, the Red Wings took the lead back on a nice give-and-go play. Jiri Hudler skated into the Colorado end, and from the top of the right circle dished the puck to Hlinka, who immediately sent it back to Hudler for a one- timer over the glove of Budaj for a 3-2 advantage with nine minutes left in the second.
Colorado had a power play opportunity late in the third period, but was unable to cash in and an empty-net goal from Samuelsson with 10.7 seconds left sealed the win for the Red Wings.
Colorado hosts Los Angeles on Saturday...Detroit wraps up its five-game road trip on Saturday at Phoenix...Filppula has nine goals in his last 10 games...Neither team scored on the power play with Detroit having one chance and Colorado four.
12/27 23:51:39 ET