Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Makar, Avalanche aim to keep momentum vs. Red Wings

Field Level Media
20 Jan 2020, 05:40 GMT+10

It's not even the NHL All-Star break and Cale Makar is already setting records.

Makar set the franchise mark for most goals by a rookie defenseman as the host Colorado Avalanche posted a 5-3 win over the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Makar's goal was his 11thof the season, surpassing the mark set by John-Michael Liles in 2003-04.

"I'm very honored and stuff, (but) it's not something that I'm going to go home and celebrate," Makar said. "It's a credit to how well these guys have been playing. We have so many smart players on this team in terms of hockey sense and that's why everybody's been producing so well and getting career highs."

Makar will look to add to his total Monday afternoon when the Avalanche host the Detroit Red Wings.

Nathan MacKinnon and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and an assist on Saturday and Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the Avalanche, who have won two in a row after losing four straight (0-2-2).

"Everybody's playing their game and I think we're playing confident as a team right now," Makar said. "It's something we have to continue."

Makar and Burakovsky scored 22 seconds apart in the second period to chase All-Star goaltender Jordan Binnington.

"They won the Stanley Cup last year, so they're automatically going to be the measuring stick for every team that plays them," said Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole, who had two assists.

"They had our number earlier in the year when we played a little loose, a little wide open, and they made us pay for it. We've made a conscious effort to get it together and play a little more connected."

The Red Wings should heed that advice. They've lost four in a row (0-3-1) and have the fewest points in the NHL.

Detroit's latest setback was a 4-1 loss at home against Florida on Saturday.

"We're not going to limp through and just kind of play these games," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We're gonna fight like crazy to win every night and fight like crazy to get better every day."

The lone goal for Detroit came from Dylan Larkin. It was the 100th of his NHL career.

"I dreamed about scoring one goal in the NHL, so I guess it is good to get that one, but it doesn't feel great right now," Larkin said. "We've got to find more ways to score and we have to start converting on the power play."

Jimmy Howard made 34 saves but dropped to 0-12-2 in his past 14 games. He hasn't won since Oct. 29.

"I'm just playing," Howard told "I'm playing free and not thinking out there. I don't know how much worse it could get, so I'm trying to build some momentum and win a game for the guys."

To make matters worse for the Red Wings, center Valtteri Filppula left Saturday's game in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn't return.

"He such a key part of our lineup. He's such a calming presence in the center ice on his line," Larkin said. "Losing him was tough. He's been playing great. Hopefully he's OK and can bounce back here."

Blashill didn't rule out Filppula for the matinee against the Avalanche.

"We anticipate him being OK," Blashill said. "I can't say he's going to for sure be ready Monday but right now we anticipate him being ready Monday."

--Field Level Media

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