DENVER (Ticker) — The Detroit Red Wings have climbed into a
familiar position – the top of the NHL standings.
Johan Franzen snapped a tie midway through the second period
Wednesday as the Red Wings dealt the Colorado Avalanche their
season-worst sixth consecutive defeat with a 3-2 victory.
Valtteri Filppula and Kris Draper also scored and Ty Conklin
made 25 saves for Detroit (43-14-8), which overtook the San Jose
Sharks and the Boston Bruins for the league’s top spot.
Defenseman John-Michael Liles and Milan Hejduk tallied and
Andrew Raycroft stopped 27 shots for the Avalanche, who have
also endured a five-game losing streak and a pair of four-game
skid en route to having the worst record in the Western
Conference this season.
The defending champion Red Wings are used to having the NHL’s
best record, winning three of the last four Presidents’
Trophies. Detroit has collected the award six times overall,
four more than any other team in the league.
With the score knotted at 1-1, Franzen fired a wrist shot past
Raycroft at 7:03 of the middle session. It was Franzen’s 26th
goal of the season.
Draper provided a much-needed insurance goal with 6:27 remaining
in the second, converting a one-timer off a centering pass from
defenseman Derek Meech to make it 3-1.
After pulling Raycroft for an extra-attacker, Hejduk halved the
deficit with 1:41 to play. But despite multiple chances in the
final minute, Colorado could not find the equalizer.