By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings fell 6-5 in the shootout to the Colorado Avalanche for their third straight loss against the Avs. Despite out-shooting their opponent 45-28, the Wings were unable to hang on to their one-goal lead in the third and consequently dropped their second straight loss.
Colorado’s Ian Lapierriere scored a mere 16 seconds into the game as a result of some confusion between Wings goaltender Chris Osgood and defenseman Brian Rafalski. It was the fastest goal allowed by Detroit to start a game this season. The Avs would pad their lead with another early goal in the second period just 23 seconds in, courtesy of Ruslan Salei.
The Wings responded with two power-play goals 26 seconds apart by forward Dan Cleary, who is taking advantage of his time on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. At 4:21, Cleary tipped in a Nicklas Lidstrom shot with his stick just below the crossbar on the delayed penalty. The forward deflected in another Lidstrom blast at 4:47 during the ensuing 5-on-3 opportunity to even the game up at two goals apiece.
Shortly after Osgood stopped Colorado’s Marek Svatos on a breakaway, Marian Hossa would score to give Detroit its first lead of the game. His goal came on a nice wrister from the top of the right faceoff circle at 8:58.
Svatos capitalized on a later scoring chance 1:01 into the final frame of action. Hossa returned the lead to Detroit at 3:33 with his 33rd goal of the season after tipping in a Rafalski shot from the point.
Colorado’s Ben Guite tied the game at four goals apiece less than three minutes later. The Joe Louis Arena faithful had a sigh of relief when Jiri Hudler score at 9:18 to give the lead back to Detroit. Unfortunately for Wings fans, the Avs came back for a third time with a goal from Milan Hejduk at 12:31 and kept the Wings from scoring for the rest of the period.
The two teams only got a combined three shots off in the extra time sending the game into a shootout. Wojtek Wolski and Zetterberg were the only two players to score in the first three chances for each team so the shootout went into a sudden death situation. Colorado’s Jordan Leopold, the 10th player in the game’s shootout, scored the game-winner on his first shootout attempt.
After a grueling six games in nine days, the Wings won’t play until Wednesday evening when they host the Nashville Predators at 7:30 p.m. The first 3,000 kids (14 and under) in attendance will receive a free Red Wings knit hat.