The Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry of the late 90s and early 2000s will go down as one of the greatest rivalries of all time.
It had everything: star players, championships on the line, pure unfiltered hatred for the other team, plenty of bloodshed, and some extremely well played hockey to boot.
While those days might be a distant memory now, and the rivalry may not burn as fiercely as it once did, one player is still putting a whooping to the Avalanche every chance he gets: Johan Franzen.
Red Wings 5 Avalanche 2
Nick Lidstrom broke the tie for the team lead in goals that he had held with Johan Franzen with a first period marker. He blasted a shot in from the slot to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.
The Wings took a two goal lead on Franzen’s first of the night (initially credited to Val Filppula), then never looked back as Franzen added another power play goal just over four minutes later, which would stand as the game-winner.
Jimmy Howard made 24 saves in the victory, as Danny Cleary netted his second of the year and Franzen iced the game with a looping backhander into the empty net from the neutral zone.
Dating back to the 2008 season, Johan Franzen has now scored 10 times in 10 games against the Avalanche, including two game-winners (both this season). That’s not even counting the nine goals and three game-winners he dropped on the Avalanche in the four game sweep of the 2008 Western Conference Semi-Finals.
If the Wings could somehow trick Franzen into believing they were playing the Avs every game…
The Off Wing View’s Three Stars
3. Nick Lidstrom 1G, 1A
2. Valtteri Filppula 2A
1. Johan Franzen 3G