DETROIT – Ville Leino, Darren Helm and the Detroit Red Wings breathed a sigh of relief.
Leino’s goal with 3:52 left broke a tie, and Helm scored two short-handed goals to lift Detroit to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Pavel Datsyuk also scored for the Red Wings, who had been shut out in three of four games. Nicklas Lidstrom had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 20 saves.
“It’s a great win. We played hard and fought. It was good,” Howard said.
Brandon Yip netted both Colorado goals. Matt Duchene and Darcy Tucker each had two assists, and Craig Anderson stopped 31 shots. The Avalanche rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie it.
“Down two goals, we did a pretty good job to battle and come back,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “Just too bad we couldn’t get a point out of it.”
Leino, who has four goals this season and hadn’t scored since Nov. 11 – a stretch of 20 games – tipped Darren Meech’s shot from the point out of the air. The goal stood up to a video review.
“It’s been a relief. It’s been a long time. It’s been tough for me,” Leino said.
Leino was a healthy scratch for the Red Wings’ previous game and was only in the lineup on Thursday night because Patrick Eaves had the flu.
“These things sometimes give you a lot of confidence and you feel good after,” Leino said. “Hopefully, I can be a little relaxed. But not too much.”
Helm added his second short-handed goal, and fifth tally of the season, into an empty net.
He has also had trouble scoring. He has gotten plenty of opportunities because of his speed and work ethic but he hasn’t been finishing. Helms’ previous goal was Nov. 28, a stretch of 11 games.
“It felt great. Been struggling a little bit, getting chances,” he said. “Nice to see the puck go in the net.”
Yip’s second power-play goal tied it at 2 with 8:01 left in the third period. He put Tucker’s cross-crease pass into the open side for his third goal.
Detroit led 2-1 after two periods.
Datsyuk opened the scoring with 7:04 left in the middle period when he beat Anderson with a wrist shot from the high slot off the rush. It was Datsyuk’s ninth goal and the first by the Red Wings in 300 minutes, 29 seconds, over five games that wasn’t scored by Todd Bertuzzi. However, Bertuzzi sent Datsyuk into the Avalanche zone with a pass.
Helm’s first goal, with 2:04 left in the second period, made it 2-0. He picked up a puck that had been chipped out of the Detroit zone by Kris Draper, raced in off the left wing for a breakaway, made a move and beat Anderson high on the glove side.
Yip put Colorado on the board with a power-play goal with 47 seconds left in the second.
Notes: Colorado D Kyle Quincey is a former Red Wings player. … Helm’s goal was the Red Wings’ first not scored by the top line of Datsyuk, Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom in 349:58. Eaves scored in the third period on Dec. 17.