DETROIT (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog opened the scoring 1:12 in and capped it with an empty-netter for his 25th goal of the season, helping the NHL-leading Colorado Avalanche beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Tyson Jost, Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin also scored and Pavel Francouz stopped 31 shots. Colorado beat Detroit for the eighth consecutive time.
Colorado lost to Boston 5-1 in its previous game, but finished a four-game trip with three victories.
“It was huge,” Jost said. “You don’t want to lose two games in a row. That’s what good teams don’t do. We knew we had to respond. Obviously, we didn’t like how we played in Boston. You never like losing and I thought we did a good job tonight.”
Filip Zadina and Robby Fabbri scored for the Red Wings. Thomas Greiss made 26 saves.
Darren Helm, facing his former team in Detroit for the first time, had an assist on Landeskog’s opening goal. Helm played 744 regular-season games with the Red Wings.
Helm normally centers the fourth line but started the game with first-line players Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.
“Perfect opening to our game,” coach Jared Bednar said. “Everyone was excited for Helm. It gave a little boost to our room. Everyone knows what this city and team meant to him for so long.”
“It was nice he did that,” Helm said of getting the first shift. “I definitely appreciate it, getting an opportunity to start with those guys. And it was nice to put one in the net.”
Jost scored later in the first period with a backhander off another rebound.
“We just gave up too many goals,” Larkin said. “The first period wasn’t our best and they are a heck of a hockey team. We had five days off and there was a little rust, but we’ve got to find out a way to come out for a big hockey game in front of a great crowd and be more competitive.”
Zadina scored midway through to second to cut Colorado’s lead to 2-1. He fired in a rebound after Francouz stopped Moritz Seider’s shot.
Kadri scored his 22nd goal with 1:41 remaining in the period. He knocked in the puck from close range despite his stick breaking apart.
“When we are playing a team like that, or like the teams we have coming up, you have to make sure you don’t give them chances,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought we held them to a minimal number of chances tonight, but too many of them went in our net.”
Nichushkin put a backhander past Greiss early in the third period for a 4-1 advantage. Fabbri scored on a power play midway through the period.
Landeskog added the empty-netter in final minute.
“We go 3-1 on the road with a lot of travel against some really good teams, so we’re really happy with that,” Bednar said.
Red Wings C Dylan Larkin reached 200th career assists during the second period. … Colorado D Cale Makar’s first-period assist extended his points streak to six games, tying his career high. … Detroit C Carter Rowney made his first appearance since Jan. 4 after recovering from a lower-body injury. … The Avs are 29-0-3 when scoring first, 23-0-0 when leading after one period and 28-1-2 when leading after two periods. … Colorado won the first matchup, 7-3 on Dec. 10.
Avalanche: Host Winnipeg on Friday night.
Red Wings: Host Toronto on Saturday night.
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