Saturday, March 27, 2004

GameDay: vs. Colorado (38-21-13-5, 94) 1:30 EST

Overview Tonight is the fourth and final game between these two Western Conference superpowers. The Wings lead the season series 2-1 with a 3-2 OT win on February 5 and a 3-1 win Thursday night. Their only loss to the Avs this season came on February 14, a 5-2 decision down at the Joe. The Wings will be playing their first game at home after a 2-2-1 West Coast trip. They are 9-3-2 in their last 14 games and are coming off that 3-1 win over the Avs, a game in which they were dominated territorially for the vast majority of the time. The Wings got an early goal from Tomas Holmstrom and held on until the third period when they scored two more, one from Pavel Datsyuk and an empty netter from Henrik Zetterberg. Manny Legace lost his bid for a shutout when Steve Konowalchuck scored at 19:28 but he was clearly the star of the game, making many amazing saves and keeping the Wings in it when it should have been a blowout. The Avs are winless in five (0-4-1) since a four-game winning streak. They have scored only seven goals in that time and haven't played since losing to the Wings on Thursday night. They pretty much lost any chance of catching the Wings for first place when they lost that game (they are seven points back now, 101 to 94) and must focus on winning their division. Their only real competition is a sliding Vancouver Canucks team (3-5-3-1 in their last 12). The Wings will need to play a much stronger game if they want to pull out a win today. Their defense improved in the first game of this home-home series but their offense was generally weak. That cannot be the case today. The Avs will play hard again and the Wings can't rely on Manny Legace to bail them out once more. They can play at an even level with the Avs, at the very least, and should be able to play better than them. It should be an exciting game from a purely hockey fan point of view, even if the Wings don't do their part. Hopefully they were able to get enough rest yesterday to get up for this game because it's still an important one. Though the game is listed to start at 1:30 EST, the puck will actually be dropped at 1:55 EST because of ABC. Injury Update Mathieu Dandenault, Kris Draper, Curtis Joseph and Robert Lang all had tests yesterday on their respective injuries. Ken Holland said the results would be in today.


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