Red Wings 5, Avalanche 1

By: AP
By: AP

Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings are kicking the Colorado Avalanche when they're down.

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.

Franzen -- a 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 for his first career hat trick.

He had two goals in Detroit's series-opening win.

Colorado's Ian Laperriere scored early in the third period, avoiding a shutout.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Colorado.

Chris Osgood made 19 saves for the Red Wings.

Colorado's Jose Theodore gave up four goals on 20 shots and was pulled for a second straight game. Peter Budaj stopped all 12 shots he faced in the second period and finished with 19 saves.

The sixth-seeded Avs can only hope two days off and home ice will help them when the series resumes.

They were without center Peter Forsberg (groin), defenseman Scott Hannan (lower-body injury) and winger Wojtek Wolski (upper-body injury) in Game 2.

Forsberg skated before Saturday's game, but was scratched from the lineup. Hannan was out because of a lower-body injury from Thursday night. Wolski is not expected to return in the second-round series because of an upper-body injury that knocked him out of Game 1.

Theodore was back on the ice after being replaced and sent to the hotel during the series opener because he was sick, but he didn't last long in Game 2.

The Red Wings chased him midway in the second period after Franzen scored his first two goals and Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg added goals.

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.

Notes

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. ... After an octopi 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. The NHL has threatened to fine the Red Wings if Zamboni driver Al Sobotka picks up octopi on the ice and twirls it, 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.


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