Franzen’s two goals and assist lift Red Wings over Avalanche |

Franzen’s two goals and assist lift Red Wings over Avalanche

Larry Lage
Associated Press
Vail CO, Colorado

DETROIT (AP) ” The Detroit Red Wings played like the NHL’s top-seeded team for the first period and opening minutes of the second.

Then, the Colorado Avalanche showed their resolve.

Johan Franzen had two goals and an assist to help the Red Wings build a three-goal cushion, and they held off Colorado for a 4-3 win Thursday night in Game 1 of their second-round series.

“We played real well, then we stopped skating and hung on,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “Their level of urgency went up and we seemed to relax.”

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Franzen ” Detroit’s biggest player ” scored his second goal early in the second period to put Detroit ahead 4-1.

Colorado pulled within a goal by the end of the second and had chances to score late in the game against Chris Osgood, who made 18 saves, including one against John-Michael Liles in the final seconds.

In the other NHL playoff game Thursday night, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime to take a 1-0 lead in their series.

The sixth-seeded Avs gave Detroit all it could handle despite an unexpected scratch, getting a player injured during the game and pulling their ill goalie.

“We had a real good second period and we had some good chances to get the equalizer in the end,” Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.

Star center Peter Forsberg was out of the lineup after pulling his groin in the morning skate and forward Wojtek Wolski was sidelined with an upper-body injury.

“We have to collectively make up for it,” Ryan Smyth said.

Quenneville said Forsberg is day to day. He’s hopeful goalie Jose Theodore and Wolski will play in Game 2 Saturday in Detroit.

The Avs replaced Theodore after he gave up four goals on 16 shots, then sent him to the team hotel because he was sick. Peter Budaj gave the Avs a chance to come back by stopping all 20 shots he faced.

“It says we can compete against this team,” Quenneville said.

Joe Louis Arena was buzzing when the puck dropped and a rivalry was renewed, then the Avs quieted the storied arena with the game’s first goal.

Paul Stastny scored midway through the first period, giving the Avs a goal against Detroit for the first time since the first of their four regular-season meetings.

The lead didn’t last long.

Henrik Zetterberg scored a minute later, then Franzen factored in the next three goals by splitting two Avs to assist on Dan Cleary’s goal that went off, over and behind Theodore, and scoring twice.

“Even though they got the first goal, we felt like we were the better team,” Franzen said. “Good thing we got a goal the next shift.”

Franzen had two goals in a playoff game for the first time, earning praise along with linemates Valtteri Filppula and Mikael Samuelsson.

“That was our best line,” Babcock said. “He was really good with Filppula and Samuelsson. We said in the last series, if we could get that line going, we would be really good.”

Liles scored at 5:17 of the second for Colorado, and Milan Hejduk scored late in the period to make it 4-3.

“We let them in a little bit too easy there,” Franzen said. “We stopped playing the way we started. We started to let them in the game. We’ve got to keep it up the whole game.”

Canadiens 4, Flyers 3, OT

Tom Kostopoulos scored 48 seconds into overtime to give host Montreal a victory over Philadelphia in the opening game of their second-round series.

Kostopoulos put his own rebound past Martin Biron shortly after a faceoff in Philadelphia’s zone for his third goal of the playoffs.

Alex Kovalev drew Montreal even with 28.6 seconds remaining in regulation, scoring a power-play goal off a faceoff with goalie Carey Price pulled for an extra attacker.

Joffrey Lupul scored a power-play goal 19 seconds into the third to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead.

R.J. Umberger and Jim Dowd scored in the first to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. Andrei Kostitsyn and Kovalev tied it at 2 when they scored in the second for Montreal, which won all four meetings between the two teams during the regular season.

Price stopped 30 shots in the first playoff meeting between the teams in 19 years. Biron also made 30 saves.

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