Avs-Wings now a one-sided rivalry

One of the fiercest rivalries in recent NHL history has become decidedly one-sided this season.

The Detroit Red Wings on Monday night not only snapped a season-high six-game losing streak, but blanked the Colorado Avalanche for the third straight time. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice and Chris Osgood made 18 saves for his fourth shutout this season in the 4-0 win.

Colorado's last goal against Detroit came when Marek Svatos scored at 5:56 of the second period of a 4-2 loss on Dec. 27. Since then, six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek and Osgood have combined to stymie the Avalanche for 214 minutes, 4 seconds.

While it wasn't quite Claude Lemieux's playoff face plant of Kris Draper into the boards back in 1996, Colorado's Ian Laperriere drove Nicklas Lidstrom back-first into the boards, forcing the five-time Norris Trophy winner out of the game with an injury.

Laperriere and Detroit's Aaron Downey were involved in two fights, the second starting when Laperriere cross-checked Downey in the mouth with his stick. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and Colorado assistant Tony Granato were seen jawing at each other.

Even though the Red Wings went nearly two weeks between wins, they still have a 10-point lead over their closest pursuers, the Dallas Stars, for the Presidents' Trophy.

In a related story, Colorado will not bringing back Peter Forsberg, nor will any other team this season.

Forsberg's agent, Don Baizley, indicated to The Sports Network of Canada that a lack of confidence with his surgically repaired foot and ankle will keep the two-time Olympic gold medal-winner off the ice for now.

"The prospect of Peter having enough confidence in the foot-skate issue to commit to being able to play in the NHL this season isn't where it needs to be at this moment," Baizley said. "As a result, teams are being told it is unlikely he will be able to commit to return to the NHL this season."

Forsberg recorded 216 of his 248 career goals with the Quebec-Colorado franchise from 1994-2004. He also played with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators.

It was reported that the Avs, Flyers, Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks were interested in signing Forsberg, an unrestricted free agent.


1. Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings: Zetterberg scored twice in a 4-0 win over Colorado. With his 34th and 35th goals. Zetterberg has already exceeded his total from last season, and needs five more to reach 40 for the first time.

2. Radim Vrbata, Phoenix Coyotes: Perhaps the biggest surprise in the NHL this season, Vrbata had a goal and two assists in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Phoenix improved to 14-2-0 this season when Vrbata has at least two points.

3. Mikael Tellqvist, Phoenix Coyotes: Tellqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced in the win over the Kings for his second shutout of the season and sixth of his career, giving coach Wayne Gretzky his 100th win.

One more thing from this game - third-period fight between the Coyotes' Daniel Carcillo and Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans.

Carcillo is 5-foot-10, 202 pounds. Ivanans - looking vaguely like Ivan Drago of "Rocky IV" fame - is 6-foot-3, 263 pounds.

Though he gave away five inches and 61 pounds, Carcillo held his own. Ivanans was opened up and a shot in the penalty box showed Carcillo with an ice bag on his mitt.

Carcillo, who scored his seventh goal, was one assist shy of a "Gordie Howe hat trick."

Good times. Good times.

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