DENVER – The fake snow surrounding the rink was only intended for decoration. Certainly made for a nice blizzard, though, when the whipping wind caught hold of the cotton-like substance and sent it flying everywhere.
“It was snowing, right? In the 50s,” Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek cracked.
This “snow” storm couldn’t derail Detroit as Brad Richards scored the winning goal with a minute remaining and the Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 at Coors Field on Saturday night in the NHL’s warmest regular-season outdoor game.
Richards, playing in his fifth NHL outdoor game, flipped a shot over the shoulder of Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader also scored for the Red Wings. Darren Helm added an empty-netter to seal the win.
“I’d be lying if I told you I was trying to put it in,” Richards said of his goal that he just tried to put on net after a save from Varlamov. “But we’ll take those.”
Talk about a heated rivalry: The game-time temperature was an unseasonably balmy 18 degrees Celsius at puck drop.
Predators 5, Blues 0
In Nashville, Filip Forsberg recorded his second hat trick in four days and Pekka Rinne posted a 26-save shutout.
Senators 6, Flames 4
In Calgary, Mika Zibanejad scored three times in a span of 2:38 in the third period.
Blue Jackets 4, Panthers 3 (SO)
In Columbus, Brandon Dubinsky scored the only shootout goal in the third round, and Scott Hartnell had a goal and assist.
Rangers 3, Stars 2
In Dallas, Kevin Klein scored with 2:53 left.
Penguins 4, Jets 1
In Pittsburgh, Carl Hagelin scored twice and the Penguins welcomed star forward Evgeni Malkin back from injury.
Flyers 4, Coyotes 2
In Philadelphia, Claude Giroux scored one of the Flyers’ three first-period goals for his 500th career point.
Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
In Montreal, Max Pacioretty scored twice and the Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs for their 10th straight victory in the rivalry.
Kings 2, Sabres 0
In Los Angeles, backup goalie Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves and Tanner Pearson scored twice.