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Wings, Legace blank Avalanche

 

Saturday, March 27, 2004

 

By LARRY LAGE

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

DETROIT -- Manny Legace made 27 saves, and Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider scored in the Detroit Red Wings' 2-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

The Western Conference-leading Red Wings are 9-1-1 in their last 11 home games.

 

The Northwest Division-leading Avalanche are 0-5-1 in their last six and have slipped behind San Jose for the third-best record in the West.

 

Legace, a career backup, has become Detroit's No. 1 goaltender because of injuries to Curtis Joseph and Dominik Hasek.

 

An MRI exam of Joseph's right ankle revealed that a small piece of cartilage pulled away from a bone, general manager Ken Holland said. The Red Wings hope a cortisone shot will relieve the swelling and allow him to play before the regular season ends April 4. Hasek was lost to a season-ending groin injury after he played just 14 games following his one-year retirement.

 

Legace has made the transition from reserve to starter this season with three shutouts, the same number he had in his first four NHL seasons.

 

When Detroit won at Colorado 3-1 on Thursday, Legace made 34 saves and was 31 seconds away from a shutout.

 

Colorado's Tommy Salo -- the backup to David Aebischer -- made 25 saves, including many that kept the Avalanche in the game.

 

Detroit took a 1-0 lead with 10 seconds left in the second period, scoring during a well-executed power play.

 

Datsyuk poked the puck behind him on a faceoff in the left circle and Schneider got it back to Nicklas Lidstrom, who passed to Brett Hull along the left boards.

 

Hull quickly got the puck back to Lidstrom, who passed it across to Schneider for a one-timer from above the right circle that sailed past Salo's glove.

 

Early in the third period, Datsyuk corralled a rebound off Hull's shot and beat a sprawling Salo to give Detroit a 2-0 lead.

 

Notes: Colorado has scored just seven goals during its six-game winless streak. ... Datsyuk's scored his 29th goal and Schneider had his 14th. ... Detroit is 29-6-4 at home.

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