In the end, of course, this was postsummit hockey: three 5-on-3 power plays-- Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios avowed afterward that NBC was leaning on refs to "control the game," to create scoring opportunities and keep the score close--and a late Red Wings penalty that was an indirect result of the new rule that curtails goalie puckhandling. With the puck slowly rimming the boards and an Avalanche forward giving chase, Legace had to remain in net, forbidden from going out to play the puck. That forced the scrambling Detroit defense to take a holding penalty with fewer than four minutes left.
But buoyed by the superb center Pavel Datsyuk, who had scored in the first minute on a Shanahan feed--"Shanny's there to keep the flies off Datsyuk," Babcock says--and attentive defense in the third period, Detroit held on for a 4-3 win, moving five points clear of the Nashville Predators, their closest pursuers in the West. Like Shanahan, the Wings were at the summit.
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