Colorado’s TJ Galiardi scored the game-winner in the third period to snap Detroit’s seven-game winning streak as the Avalanche handed the high-flying Red Wings a rare 4-2 defeat on Sunday.
Galiardi fired in a short-handed score at 9 minutes, 22 seconds in the final period to break a 2-2 tie and Ryan O’Reilly added his second goal of the game into an empty net in the final minute to derail Detroit’s run.
“We talked before the game that you have to respect them, but not too much,” Galiardi told reporters. “I think we took it to them for the most part. It’s huge for us. They are such a good team over there.”
The Red Wings (16-8-1) had not lost since on Nov. 17 and were rarely challenged during their streak before visiting Colorado.
The game had started brightly for Detroit, who had beaten the Avalanche in both previous meetings this season, and they took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Johan Franzen at 15 minutes, 8 seconds in the first period.
O’Reilly tied the game 26 seconds into the second and Paul Stastny put the home team ahead almost two minutes later.
Danny Cleary netted a game-tying tip-in for Detroit five minutes into the third, but Galiardi won it for the Avalanche (13-13-1) to claim their third consecutive win.
The Avalanche finished their franchise-high eight-game homestand with a record of 5-3-0. They got another strong performance from goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who made 27 stops.
Ty Conklin made 31 saves for the Red Wings, who remain two points behind Chicago in the Central Division.
Detroit lost center Valtteri Filppula to a cut on his leg in the first period.
Colorado center Stastny sustained a torso injury in the third.
“I don’t think we played very well,” Cleary said. “We didn’t seem to have our legs. We certainly didn’t play how we have been playing the last seven games.”
WILD 5, DUCKS 3
In Anaheim, California, Nick Johnson scored the go-ahead goal with 5 minutes, 31 seconds left in the third period, while Casey Wellman and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored 32 seconds apart in the second period, to lead the Minnesota Wild to victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
Dany Heatley scored a power-play goal and Kyle Clutterbuck added a short-handed empty-netter with 10.2 seconds left for Minnesota in the opener of a five-game trip. Matt Cullen added three assists for Minnesota against his former club, while Josh Harding made 24 saves.
The victory put the Wild atop the overall NHL standings with 37 points under rookie coach Mike Yeo. They are off to their best start in the franchise’s 11-year history at 17-7-3 and have won four straight and nine of 11 — a stretch that began with a 3-2 win over the Ducks on Nov. 13 in Anaheim.
Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu and Cam Fowler scored for Anaheim, while Jonas Hiller made 31 saves in his 200th regular-season game. Teemu Selanne appeared in his 800th regular-season game with the club.
CANUCKS 5, FLAMES 1
In Vancouver, Canada, Roberto Luongo made 21 saves, while Chris Higgins and David Booth each had a goal and two assists as Vancouver beat Calgary for their sixth victory in seven games.
Daniel Sedin and Kevin Bieksa had power-play goals, while Jannik Hansen also scored to help Vancouver rebound from a 6-5 home loss to Nashville on Thursday night.
Alex Tanguay scored for Calgary, coming off a 5-3 victory in Edmonton on Saturday night.