Adam Deadmarsh scored one goal on a power play and another with his team short-handed as Colorado clinched the regular-season championship in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 victory over Detroit on Sunday night.
A sellout crowd at McNichols Arena watched the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche improve the NHL's best record to 43-18-9. Detroit, second in the Central Division, dropped to 33-21-15.
It was the first time Detroit center Kris Draper skated against Avalanche right wing Claude Lemieux since Game 6 of last season's Western Conference final. In that one, Lemieux checked Draper headfirst into the lip of the dasher board, and Draper was hospitalized for four days with a broken jaw and other facial injuries. The Red Wings vowed revenge, but Lemieux didn't play in the first two meetings this season as he recovered from a torn muscle in his abdomen.
Lemieux and Draper were involved in a scuffle of several players near the end of the opening period, and both received 10-minute misconduct penalties. The aggressiveness dissipated somewhat after that.
Keith Jones and Jon Klemm scored the other goals for the Avalanche.