Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Detroit leads 4-0

Game 1: Wednesday, November 23rd
Avalanche3Final
Red Wings7
Game 2: Saturday, January 21st
Red Wings4Final
Avalanche3
Game 3: Saturday, February 4th
Red Wings3Final
Avalanche0
Game 4: Sunday, February 12th
Avalanche3Final
Red Wings6

Avalanche 3

(11-8-3, 25 pts)

Red Wings 7

(16-5-2, 34 pts)

7:30 PM ET, November 23, 2005

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

1 2 3 T
COL 1 1 13
DET 1 3 37

M. Samuelsson (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

M. Legace (Red Wings - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .889

A. Brunette (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Wings whip Avs in first game since Fischer's collapse

DETROIT (AP) -- Mikael Samuelsson's offensive production is no longer a surprise.

Samuelsson had two goals and two assists, sending the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Signed as a free agent during training camp, Samuelsson has 11 goals to surpass his previous high of 10 in 2002-03 with the Rangers and Penguins. He had 19 goals and 49 points in 188 NHL games with four NHL teams before this season. His latest performance gave the 28-year-old Samuelsson 18 points in 23 games.

"He's got a great shot. He's big and strong and knows how to hang onto the puck," teammate Dan Cleary said. "Now, I don't expect anything less."

Detroit, which snapped a four-game losing streak, also got a goal and an assist each from Jason Williams, Robert Lang and Cleary. Brendan Shanahan and Johan Franzen also scored, and Pavel Datsyuk added two assists.

Colorado, which lost its third straight, got goals from Andrew Brunette, Ian Laperriere and John-Michael Liles.

"Every time we made a mistake, they'd come back and score," Laperriere said. "They just waited and waited and buried us."

It was Detroit's first game since defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench Monday night in the first period against Nashville. He was released from the hospital Wednesday and was resting at home.

"We see his locker there and know that he'd like to be part of this," Cleary said. "We just went out and dug down."

Brunette said every player in the league is thinking about Fischer.

"It made everybody feel better, when we found out he was stable," Brunette said. "But every man who had to play in the NHL tonight felt sick."

Liles' power-play goal 7:14 into the third period pulled Colorado within one when he tipped in a pass from Joe Sakic. But Williams' goal made it 5-3 when he scored off a pass from Datsyuk with 4:16 remaining. Samuelsson added his second goal with 3:21 left, and Franzen had a short-handed empty-net goal with 53.3 seconds to go.

The Red Wings led 4-2 after scoring three goals in the second period.

Lang converted Samuelsson's pass on a 2-on-1 to break a 1-all tie 5:32 into the second. But Laperriere tied it on a one-timer from the slot off a pass from Alex Tanguay with 7:38 left in the period. Cleary made it 3-2 with 5:19 remaining in the second with his first goal in a Detroit uniform. He put in Samuelsson's rebound from the left circle.

Shanahan capped the scoring in the second period with a power-play goal, his 13th goal of the season, with 1:30 left. He tipped Nicklas Lidstrom's shot from the point out of the air and past goalie Peter Budaj.

"The second period, they turned it around there in their favor," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said.

Brunette's power-play goal gave Colorado a 1-0 lead 1:30 into the game. Samuelsson tied it off a nice feed from Williams just 48 seconds later.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock juggled his lines and put Samuelsson with Lang and Henrik Zetterberg.

"It's one of those nights," Samuelsson said. "It was fun playing with Zetterberg and Lang out there. It was good."

Babcock said Samuelsson keeps improving.

"Every day he gets better," the coach said. "He shoots the puck in the net and plays well without it."

Detroit put the 25-year-old Fischer on injured reserve.

The team announced to the crowd Monday night that Fischer had a seizure, but Babcock later said Fischer's heart had stopped.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said doctors told Fischer to refrain from physical activity for at least four to six weeks.

Game notes


Colorado D Karlis Skrastins has played in 373 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NHL. ... Detroit recalled defenseman Kyle Quincey from its AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids to replace Fischer on the active roster. ... Detoit D Jamie Rivers played in his 400th game.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES