The Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen celebrates the third goal of the first period against the Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche, 4-3, during Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference semifinals Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Julian H. Gonzalez/Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings' Johan Franzen celebrates the third goal of the first period against the Colorado Avalanche. The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche, 4-3, during Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference semifinals Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Red Wings hold off Avs

Detroit fends off comeback to take Game 1 of second-round series

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Johan Franzen scored two goals and had an assist to help Detroit build a three-goal cushion, and the Red Wings held on to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 4-3, on Thursday night in Game 1 of their second-round series.

Franzen's second goal early in the second put Detroit ahead, 4-1, but Colorado pulled within a goal by the end of the period.

Detroit's Chris Osgood made 18 saves.

The Avs pulled Jose Theodore after he gave up four goals on 16 shots, then said they sent him to the team hotel because he was sick. Peter Budaj gave the Avs a chance to come back by stopping all 20 shots he faced.

Game 2 is Saturday afternoon in Detroit.

Joe Louis Arena was buzzing when the puck dropped and a rivalry was renewed, then the Avs quieted the storied arena with the game's first goal.

Paul Stastny scored midway through the first period.

The lead didn't last long.

Henrik Zetterberg lit the lamp a minute later, then Franzen factored in the next three goals by assisting on Dan Cleary's goal and scoring twice for the first time in a playoff game.

John-Michael Liles scored at 5:17 of the second for Colorado, and Milan Hejduk scored late in the period to make it 4-3.

The sixth-seeded Avs gave the NHL's top-seeded team all it could handle despite an unexpected scratch, getting a player injured during the game and pulling their ill goalie.

Star center Peter Forsberg was out of the lineup because of a groin injury after he had five points against Minnesota in the first round. Forward Wojtek Wolski was sidelined with an upper body injury.

Much was made about the bad blood between the two teams after they matched up five times between 1996 and 2002 - combining to win five Stanley Cups in the seven-year span - but the game had only the usual hits and scrums seen in NHL playoff games.

Notes

Franzen scored twice in three regular-season games, all of which were in a 20-day span last month. ... Lions C Dominic Raiola was at the game and was booed when he was shown on the videoboards. ... Zamboni driver Al Sobotka avoided an NHL fine by taking his octopus-twirling routine off the ice, following a league mandate. ... Colorado F Ryan Smyth had two assists.

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