Johan Franzen scored three times to lift Detroit to a 5-1 victory Saturday over the banged-up Avs, giving the NHL's top-seeded team a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound center -- known as "Mule" -- redirected a shot in front of the net early in the game, scored on a wraparound in the second period and whacked a rebound out of the air in the third.
Jose Theodore was pulled in favor of Peter Budaj for the second game in a row in the Avs' loss to Detroit. Theodore has a 17-9 career record in first-round games, but he's 2-15 in the second round and has lost his last 13 second-round decisions.
At the other end, Detroit didn't give the Avs much of a chance to have success.
Its swarming defense held Colorado to four shots in the first, six in the second and 10 in the third as it opened up the offense to take more chances trying to come back.
After trailing by three goals in the series opener, the Avs rallied to pull within a goal before losing 4-3.
"We wanted to build off of what happened last game, but it didn't happen," Colorado star Joe Sakic said. "Obviously a poor performance on our part. They had the legs."
Budaj stopped all 20 shots in faced in his playoff debut in Game 1. ... Detroit's Darren McCarty and Colorado's Cody McCormick dropped their gloves and sticks for a fight shortly after the Red Wings went ahead 4-0. "Punches thrown, a lot of missed punches, lot of rust," McCarty said. "It was good for the fans." ... After an octopus was thrown on the ice before the game, Colorado's Cody McLeod picked it up, shook it in the direction of Detroit's Dallas Drake and threw it off the ice toward the Avs' dressing room. Why? "Just to let them know they were going to be in a battle," McLeod said. The NHL has threatened to fine the Red Wings if Zamboni driver Al Sobotka picks up octopi on the ice and twirls them, following a tradition in Detroit. ... Red Wings D Brad Stuart played after missing a game to be with his wife for the birth of their son. ... For the first time in the playoffs, Colorado didn't score the first goal.
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Arena: Joe Louis Arena Location: Detroit, Michigan
Referees: Brad Watson, Marc Joannette Linesmen: Shane Heyer, Brad Lazarowich
Attendance: 20,066 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Johan Franzen (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Mikael Samuelsson, Niklas Kronwall
Johan Franzen (6)
(Power Play) Assists: Jiri Hudler, Niklas Kronwall