The potential for a great story, one of the few of this miserable Red Wings’ season, was there.
Filip Zadina, the prized Red Wings’ rookie, scored his first NHL goal late Tuesday against Colorado, giving his team the lead.
But instead of that exciting ending, it turned into another heartbreaking one.
Colorado tied it 42 seconds after Zadina scored, then star Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon scored at 2 minutes, 29 seconds of overtime, giving the Avalanche a 4-3 victory.
Instead of a storybook ending, it was another gut punch for the Wings, a young team that’s forgotten how to win.
That’s eight consecutive losses (0-5-3) for the Wings, who were only a little over two minutes from getting a much-needed win.
Zadina fired a one-timer from the dot past goalie Semyon Varlamov, giving the Wings a 3-2 lead after Colorado was called for too many men on the ice.
For a Wings team that has been going through so much difficulty lately, with little going right, Zadina’s power-play goal was brief ray of sunshine.
But Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie came right back, after the Avalanche pulled Varlamov, and Barrie tied it with a shot from the high slot.
Then, MacKinnon won it in overtime, moments after Andreas Athanasiou fired wide on Varlamov after Anthony Mantha found Athanasiou with a step on the Avalanche.
Colorado went on a 3-on-2 rush and MacKinnon blistered a shot from the slot, ending another frustrating evening.
► Detroit's goals: Niklas Kronwall scored just 2 seconds after a power play expired late in the first period. Thomas Vanek shoveled a pass to Kronwall in the high slot and Kronwall quickly one-timed a shot that glanced off Avalanche forward Sheldon Dries and through goalie Semyon Varlamov for Kronwall’s third goal. Danny DeKeyser gave the Wings a 2-1 lead early in the third period converting a great pass from Jacob de la Rose, who somehow found DeKeyser trailing on the rush. Zadina made it 3-2 late in the third with his first NHL goal, one-timing a pass from Filip Hronek.
►Zadina's night: Zadina had a team-high five shots, played 18:16, and scored his first NHL goal, along with being plus-1. In his fourth NHL game, Zadina arguably played his best one. He was confident with the puck and was looking to make plays throughout the game.
►Tough season: Bernier continues through his difficult season, making 30 saves, but again not able to secure a victory. Playing against his former team, Bernier made some big saves late to give the Wings an opportunity to reach overtime. But the Wings can’t make enough plays to help the goaltender.
►Colorado goals: Former Michigan Wolverine J.T. Compher tied the game 1-1 early in the second period. Only 3 seconds after an Avalanche power play expired, Colin Wilson found Compher in the slot. Compher got himself free and beat Bernier cleanly for his 15th goal at 1:44. Mikko Rantanen (power play) tied it 2-2 with his 29th goal in the third period, patiently backhanding a shot past Bernier. Barrie tied it 3-3 with the goalie pulled at 18:25 of the third period, a shot from the top of the slot. MacKinnon won it, his 34th goal, off a 3-on-2 rush after Athanasiou just missed a chance for the Wings to win it.
►Hronek's big night: Filip Hronek, the rookie defenseman, played a team-high 27:07 and set up Zadina — the two have worked well together in Grand Rapids all season – for Zadina’s first NHL goal. Zadina was credited with four hits and two takeaways and continued his recent improvement.
►Battle for the worst: The Wings (22-33-10, 56 points) stayed four points above Ottawa for the NHL’s worst record, as both teams earned a point but lost in overtime.
►Next: The Wings return home Thursday to play the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m./FSD,97.1 FM).