DENVER — Nicklas Lidstrom scored a power-play goal with 9:03 left in the third period and lifted the Detroit Red Wings past the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night.
Tomas Holmstrom had a goal and two assists, Pavel Datsyuk had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 22 saves for Detroit.
It was the first NHL game since Feb. 14 when the NHL took a two-week break for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Chris Stewart had a goal and assist, T.J. Galiardi also scored and Craig Anderson had 27 saves for the Avalanche.
The game was tied when Colorado defenseman Kyle Quincey drew a minor penalty for tripping with 10:01 remaining. Lidstrom's low shot 58 seconds later beat goalie Craig Anderson for the game-winner.
The goal spoiled Colorado's comeback from a slow start.
The Red Wings took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Colorado came back to tie it in the second. Galiardi knocked a rebound through Howard's legs to make it 2-1 with his 10th goal of the season.
The Avalanche got even when Stewart's slapshot from the left circle beat Howard at 11:14 of the period, his 20th goal of the year.
Both teams had chances to take the lead late in the second. Detroit defenseman Brad Stuart intercepted a pass on a Colorado two-on-one and Anderson stretched to make a right pad save on Johan Franzen, who couldn't lift the puck into the open net.
Detroit looked in control at the start. Holmstrom scored his 17th goal when he took a pass from Datsyuk and beat Anderson with a quick shot in the top left corner to make it 1-0 6:06 into the game.
Franzen made it 2-0 on the power play when he beat Anderson in the same spot at 12:40 of the first period.
Detroit had a goal waved off when the officials ruled Holmstrom had incidental contact with Anderson with 13:32 left in the second period.
Two minutes later, Galiardi scored to get Colorado on the board.
The Avalanche activated C Matt Hendricks after missing 12 games with an ankle injury. … Colorado D Ruslan Salei's assist on Stewart's goal was his first point of the season. He missed 54 games with a back injury. … Detroit C Jason Williams played in his 400th NHL game.
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