DETROIT – Colorado’s No. 1 goaltender Peter Budaj contributed to a victory over the rival Red Wings without even playing.
Defenceman Jordan Leopold scored on a penalty shot and added an assist and backup goalie Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves and the Avalanche held on for a 3-2 win over Detroit on Monday night. Wojtek Wolski and Paul Stastny also scored for Colorado.
With the Avalanche leading 2-1, 1:51 into the third period, the Red Wings’ Brett Lebda was caught covering the puck in the Detroit crease. That calls for a penalty shot with the coach choosing who will take it.
Colorado coach Tony Granato picked Leopold because he does well in team breakaway and shootout drills.
“He was the guy we were comfortable that we could put in that situation,” Granato said.
The defenceman then consulted Budaj on strategy.
“I asked Buds (Peter Budaj) would my warm-up move work,” Leopold said. “And he said ‘go with it.”‘
The move, a little fake and a backhand under the crossbar, was perfect as Chris Osgood stayed back in his crease and was beaten for a 3-1 Avalanche lead and Leopold’s fifth goal.
“I was thinking maybe shoot, because I’m a D-Man and keep it simple,” he said. “But I was taking what he was giving.”
Tomas Holmstrom and Marian Hossa scored for Detroit. Osgood, whose struggles this season continued despite a 12-2-4 record, stopped 24 shots.
“They got the puck deep on us and tried to drive behind our D,” Holmstrom said. “They had the momentum going, too.”
Hossa brought the Red Wings within a goal 7:07 into the third period when he scored from the left circle off a face off won by Henrik Zetterberg. It was Hossa’s 16th goal.
“As the game goes on we begin to pick it up and we’re a much better team,” Hossa said.
Holmstrom cut the Avalanche’s lead to 2-1 at 9:10 of the second period. With a delayed penalty being called on Colorado and Osgood pulled for a sixth attacker, Holmstrom scored on a goal-mouth scramble for his ninth goal.
Colorado scored on two of its first four shots to take a 2-0 lead 4:34 into the game.
Wolski capitalized on a turnover by Johan Franzen in the neutral zone and scored on a breakaway at 1:07 for his seventh goal. Holmstrom took a hooking penalty at 3:49 and it took 45 seconds for Stastny to make it 2-0 as he beat Osgood with a shot from the inside edge of the left circle. It was Stastny’s seventh goal.
“Normally we have a pretty professional group,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “Right away we had a turnover and it ended up in our net, then they scored on a power play. I didn’t think we played terrible tonight. We did a lot of good things, but if you spot any team two goals, it’s going to be tough for you.”
Notes: Colorado RW Marek Svatos missed his second game because of a back injury. … The Avalanche scored two goals in losing all four games to Detroit last season. … Holmstrom has two goals in his past two games.