Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) – Petr Mrazek made 28 saves for his first
shutout of the season and the streaking Detroit Red Wings scored two empty-net
goals in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Justin Abdelkader’s power-play goal in the second period was the only one the
Red Wings needed to pick up their eighth win in nine games.
They got two more after Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov for
an extra skater with around 3:05 left in the game — a tactic the Hall of Fame
former goaltender is known for.
Darren Helm scored about 30 seconds later and Luke Glendening added another
empty-net goal in the final minute to wrap things up.
Mrazek had 12 saves in the first period, nine in the second and secured his
third career shutout with seven stops in the third.
The Red Wings killed off three Colorado power plays, including two in a
scoreless first period.
“It was important the way we kept the game 0-0 for a while,” said Abdelkader.
“They came out strong as they always do here. We kept our shifts short. We
felt we got our feet going a little bit in the second period and we were able
to take the game over.”
Varlamov made 26 saves for the Avalanche, who had a two-game winning streak
An apparent goal by Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog around six minutes into the
game was waived off because of a hand pass.
Teammate Nick Holden knocked the puck down with his glove in front of the net
after Ryan O’Reilly’s shot was stopped by Mrazek and the goal was called off
after a brief discussion.
Abdelkader scored with Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda off for interference.
Henrik Zetterberg set it up with a sharp-angle pass from near the right boards
and Abdelkader backed into position from beside the net, scoring on his own
rebound after Varlamov made the initial save.
“We’re just moving the puck well,” said Abdelkader. “I knew I had some room
and the (defense) was playing high. The puck got down and I had a couple
chances at it.”
Avs defenseman Brad Stuart was caught in between Zetterberg and Abdelkader.
“He was able to walk out in front,” Stuart said. “By the time I got there, he
had a couple whacks at it.”
The Avs topped the Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout on Dec. 21 in Detroit, their
second consecutive win in the series after four straight losses … The next
time these teams meet in Denver they will play an outdoor game at Coors Field
on Feb. 27, 2016 … Detroit continues a three-game road trip on Saturday
against Arizona … Colorado is also on the road Saturday against Minnesota.