Avs hold off Red Wings for 5-4 win
DENVER – Matt Duchene scored twice in Colorado's four-goal first period and Peter Budaj stopped 26 shots, helping the Avalanche halt the Detroit Red Wings' three-game winning streak with a 5-4 victory on Monday night.
Paul Stastny, Kevin Porter and David Jones added goals for the Avalanche in a game that featured two of the NHL's highest-scoring teams.
Colorado chased Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard 14:15 in after he surrendered four goals on 10 shots. Howard was replaced by Joey MacDonald, who allowed only one goal the rest of the way on 16 shots.
Jan Mursak netted his first NHL goal, and Brian Rafalski, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom also scored for the Red Wings.
Holmstrom deflected in a shot midway through the third period to trim what had been a three-goal deficit to a 5-4 margin. The Red Wings pulled MacDonald for an extra skater with just over one minute remaining, but couldn't score the equalizer. T.J. Galiardi cleared the puck from the Colorado zone to end the game.
Budaj was solid in net as he spelled Craig Anderson. He thwarted one scoring chance after another, especially in the third period when the Red Wings relentlessly pressured the Avalanche.
Duchene also set up Jones' backhanded goal in the second period, staking the Avalanche to a 5-2 lead.
Later in the period, Zetterberg poked a shot through the legs of Budaj, running his point streak to 11 games. He has six goals and 10 assists over that span.
Duchene's first of the game came when he corralled a loose puck between the blue lines, skated in on Howard and put a shot between his pads.
He knocked in another on a give-and-go play with Tomas Fleischmann, who assisted on both of Duchene's goals.
Duchene nearly added a third, but his backhanded shot with 32.4 seconds remaining in the first period clanged off the right post.
Stastny started the scoring when he knocked in a shot after the puck squirted out to him near the left circle. The goal moved Stastny to within one of becoming the eighth player in Avalanche history to score 100.
Porter also got into the act when he bounced a puck into the net off the stick of Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.
The dinged-up Red Wings have done a remarkable job of weathering a string of injuries. They have the second-most points in the Western Conference despite missing Mike Modano (wrist), Pavel Datsyuk (wrist/hand) and Dan Cleary (ankle) for chunks of time.
Detroit will be without defenseman Brad Stuart (broken jaw) for six-to-eight weeks, and backup goalie Chris Osgood is out because of a lingering groin injury.
NOTES: Howard leads the NHL with 22 wins. ... Avs rookie D Kevin Shattenkirk missed the game because of a foot injury sustained Saturday while blocking a shot. ... Avs D Kyle Cumiskey will accompany the team on their upcoming two-game road swing. Cumiskey has been out since Oct. 30 with a concussion. ... Detroit F Valtteri Filppula returned after missing two games with a groin injury. ... Duchene and Jones had three points each.