Detroit Red Wings lose 6-3 to Colorado Avalanche: Game thread replay

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When: 3 p.m. Monday.

Where: Ball Arena in Denver.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1; Red Wings radio affiliates).

• Box score

Game notes: The bad blood between the Red Wings and Avalanche is almost completely wiped away these days, even as the franchises’ two biggest stars two decades ago — Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic — are running their front offices. Still, it’s always an enjoyable rivalry, and the Colorado fans should be agreeably chippy for the matinee.

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Just in case the back-to-back Stanley Cups won by the Tampa Bay Lightning (and the back-to-back-to-back conference titles for the Bolts) made us forget, the Avalanche are reminding us how hard it is to repeat as Cup champs. The Avs, who knocked off the Bolts in six games last summer, have yet to rediscover their mojo 41 games into their title defense. With just 45 points, they’re sitting fourth in the Central Division — and six points out of a wild-card spot. 2023 has been particularly rough, with four losses in six games; still, don’t count the Avs out yet, as they steamrolled the Senators at home Saturday, 7-0.

Two of those goals were scored by 26-year-old Mikko Rantanen, giving him 29 this season in 41 games. That topped Avs GM Joe Sakic’s Denver-era franchise record for goals at the halfway point of the season; “Burnaby Joe” had 28 in the Avs’ first season in Colorado after moving from Quebec City en route to 51 as the Avs won the Cup. Rantanen needs just seven more goals to match his career high, set least season as the Avs won their third Cup in Denver.

Part of the change for the Avs has been in the crease, where Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz have replaced Darcy Kuemper, last season’s Cup winner. (Well, Francouz won six games for the Avs in the leadup up to the Cup final before Kuemper returned from an eye injury.) Keumper is now in Washington, and Georgiev, brought in via…

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