Red Wings finish off Avalanche

From the Associated Press

Johan Franzen's second hat trick in three games fueled Detroit to an 8-2 victory over Colorado on Thursday night in Denver, completing the Red Wings' sweep of the injury-riddled Avalanche.

Franzen's nine goals in the series matched Colorado's total, and his three goals in Game 4 made him the first player with two hat tricks in one series since Jari Kurri did it for Edmonton in 1985.

Franzen scored on a breakaway in the first period and added a short-handed backhander and a redirection into the net in the second, when the Red Wings scored four times to take a 7-1 lead.

The Red Wings advance to the Western Conference finals against the winner of the Dallas-San Jose series, which the Stars lead, 3-1.

Franzen needed only 10 playoff games to score 11 goals and break the Red Wings' record for most goals in one postseason, which was held by three players, including Brett Hull, who needed 23 games to do it in 2002.

He is the second Red Wing to post two hat tricks in one playoff series, joining Norm Ullman, who did it against Chicago in 1964.

Colorado was missing four key players: center Peter Forsberg (groin, ankle), leading scorer Paul Stastny (knee) and forwards Ryan Smyth (foot) and Wojtek Wolski (shoulder).

New York Rangers 3, Pittsburgh 0 -- Jaromir Jagr scored a second-period goal to ignite the Rangers, who staved off elimination at New York.

The Penguins, who lost for the first time in eight playoff games, lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal, 3-1.


Rangers forward Sean Avery remained in an intensive care unit, two days after his spleen was lacerated during a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The internal bleeding that has kept Avery in intensive care stopped Thursday.

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