Pickard makes one last bid to stay, beats Wings in nine-round SO

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If Calvin Pickard is sent to the minors after leading Colorado to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings Sunday night, he can at least head there knowing that there was nothing he could have done to change Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and GM Joe Sakic’s minds.

Semyon Varlamov is very likely to return from his groin injury on Tuesday and Roy has previously suggested that Pickard will report to AHL Lake Erie once that happens, but before Pickard’s fate was sealed, he turned aside 34 of 35 shots in regulation tonight and was only beaten twice in a nine-round shootout.

It was the third straight time that Pickard held the Avalanche’s competition to just one goal. He now has a 2.06 GAA and .939 save percentage in 13 games this season.

Fellow youngster Petr Mrazek was sharp at the other end of the ice too, but after stopping 22 of 23 shots through 65 minutes and lasting eight shootout rounds, Jarome Iginla scored what proved to be the winner.

The contest was scoreless until the third period when Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk found the back of the net on a power-play opportunity. Erik Johnson evened the contest with just 4:15 minutes remaining in the third frame.

Colorado has now recorded at least a point in each of its last five games. Detroit has dropped six straight contests, including four in the skills competition.