When Patrick Roy was hired as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, everyone knew that he had to revive a team that had been a doormat in the NHL.
While it appears that the former hall-of-fame goaltender has the team that he won two Stanley Cups with going in the right direction, the Avalanche were unable to knock off an old nemesis in the Detroit Red Wings.
Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen, who have made a living out of being a recurring nightmare for the Avs, each scored two goals to give the Red Wings a 4-2 win, and hand Roy his first loss as a head coach.
"We usually play pretty good coming in here," Franzen said. "We make it hard on them and you have to slow them down as much as you can. You know, it's high altitude and you have to play smart to beat these guys. They have some great skills and some great speed and I think we did a good job with that."
Franzen has scored 15 goals in 28 games against the Avalanche, while Datsyuk has 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) in 40 games against the Avs.
Both teams had one of the most infamous blood feuds with each other in the late 1990s, and some of that intensity made a return to the Pepsi Center for this game.\
It only took 2:13 to stir the kettle, as Niklas Kronwall was boarded violently by Colorado's Cody McLeod. Kronwall had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher, while McLeod was immediately ejected from the game.
The hit woke up the Red Wings' offense, as Franzen scored on the ensuing power play at 6:08 after taking a feed from Henrik Zetterberg and beating Semyon Varlamov with a wrister for his first goal of the season.
Datsyuk scored his first of the night and third of the season at 15:00 when he slammed a rebound past Varlamov after Varlamov had initially stopped a point shot from Danny DeKeyser.
Colorado's offense was firing in the second period as Erik Johnson scored on a power play at 2:36 when he went coast-to-coast before beating Jonas Gustavsson with a wrister.
Gabriel Landeskog tied the game at 2-2 at 14:42 on a power play after snapping a wrister past Gustavsson.
The second period also featured a fight between Drew Miller and Cory Sarich at 13:08.
Franzen put the Wings ahead for good at 7:10 of the third when he beat Varlamov with a wrister after taking a cross-ice feed from Justin Abdelkader. Datsyuk scored his second of the game and fourth of the season at 13:35. Daniel Alfredsson stole the puck from Johnson at the blue line and waited patiently before dishing to Datsyuk, who beat Varlamov with a backhander.
Gustavsson picked up his third straight win after stopping 38 shots, including multiple saves on Matt Duchene.
NOTES: Kronwall sustained a concussion and cuts to his ear as a result of the hit from McLeod, but was not taken to the hospital. He flew to Phoenix with the team for Saturday's game against the Coyotes, but will not play…McLeod will have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety regarding his actions…Alfredsson assisted on three of the four goals by the Red Wings.
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