Ozzie Makes THE Save of the Game, with 8.4 seconds on the clock...in the third. (Detroit News photo)
Well, we took Game One…and the game was nearly as good as Wings – Avs games of old. Here’s Helene St. James, writing in The Freep:
The Red Wings saw their lead dwindle goal by goal but held on through a fierce, last-minute attack to defeat their old playoff rivals.
Pumped up by two goals from Johan Franzen and saved by a particularly big stop by Chris Osgood, the Wings took Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal against
, 4-3, on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena. Colorado
Franzen helped the Wings build a 4-1 lead 21:13 into the game, chasing goalie Jose Theodore, but the Avs scored twice in the second period to make it a one-goal game for the final 20 minutes. Osgood made 18 saves, his biggest on former Spartan John-Michael Liles with eight seconds remaining.
"We have to play with more focus, a little more solid defense, otherwise they're going to take advantage of it," Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said.
The Wings showed the same tendency in Round 1, allowing
to get back into games rather than putting them away. Nashville
"We owned the first period and the first half of the second, but then we let them back in," Franzen said. "We're usually better playing with a one-goal lead than we are playing with a multi-goal lead. We relax and let them back in. It's a mix from them being desperate, as well. They have nothing to lose when they're down. We haven't been able to stop them so far, so we have to do a little bit better job there to play for 60 minutes."
(ed: about the octopi…for the uninitiated yet curious among you.)
When I say nearly as good as the Old Days I mostly mean edge-of-your-seat suspense, coupled with some really beautiful hockey. There wasn’t one fight last night, no one was ejected, and the penalties were relatively few (five on the Avs, three on
)…considering this IS the Wings – Avs we’re talking about. All in all… a most interesting game. Or, as I told SN1 last evening after Detroit scored its third goal, “this is getting TOO interesting!” But the Wings hung on to get the “W.” They’ll have to be a lil bit better than they were in the final period of last night’s game to take the series. There’s not much doubt in my mind they will be, but I’m thinking this series will last at least six games, if not seven. Colorado
Highlights from NHL.com… all the goals, some of the hits and Ozzie’s brilliant save with 8-point-four-seconds left in the third to win it:
Game Two is tomorrow at (EDT) on NBC.