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Late Lidstrom goal lifts Wings over Avs

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For it being the first game since mid-February for both teams, they both played pretty well. The Red Wings passed well all game long and each player seemed to know where his linemate was going to on the ice, something sparingly seen in the pre-Olympic break Wings. Detroit picked up 2 points with the win and put itself into the 8th spot over idle Calgary and Dallas.

Tomas Holmstrom lead the way for the Red Wings in the scoring department tonight, tallying the first goal and adding an assist on each of the next two goals. The first goal came as a result of some great passing on the fly and a beautiful set up from Pavel Datsyuk made Holmstrom's work easy, putting the Wings up 1-0. Later in the first, with the Wings on the power play, Johan Franzen took a pass from Holmstrom in the corner, gave Craig Anderson a quick deke and then lifted the puck up and over for a 2-0 Detroit lead.

Since nothing has come easy for Detroit this season, it was almost a given that the Avalanche would tie it up in the second period. Paul Stastny put a quick shot on net that Jimmy Howard had trouble controlling the rebound of and T.J. Galiardi put the rebound through Howard's legs. About three minutes later, Chris Stewart got a pass low to Howard's right face-off dot and apparently no Red Wings felt it necessary to try and guard him so Stewart ripped a slapshot past Howard to tie it up.

The third period was pretty open in terms of scoring chances and the Wings made the most of the best chance that they were given. Datsyuk took a pass from Holmstrom and streaked across the slot--bringing Anderson and the Avalanche defense with him--before dropping a pass to Nicklas Lidstrom who had to simply put a shot on net for the eventual game winner.

Colorado flurried late in the game with several chances but Jimmy Howard survived the onslaught en route to his 22nd win of the season. Detroit's next game is Wednesday at home against Vancouver.

Player of the game: Tomas Holmstrom's three points (1 G, 2 A) and general net presence were a big factor in this game. Holmstrom drew the tripping penalty on Anderson to give the Wings the power play for Franzen's goal and twice "interfered" with Anderson. Homer being Homer.