Cloutier's misplay gives Game 3 to resurgent Red WingsPosted: Monday April 22, 2002 1:24 AM
Updated: Monday April 22, 2002 4:20 AM
"Everyone saw it, it was a shot from far out and it beat me, what else can I say?" said a subdued Cloutier. "It happens to the best of them, and it happened to me tonight. If I don't let that in, it might be a different game."
Lidstrom's 100-foot slap shot fluttered under Cloutier's catching glove with 24.6 seconds left in the second period, giving the Red Wings the lead and new life in their best-of-seven series.
"I was surprised," Lidstrom said. "I was just trying to get the puck low on net for a rebound and I didn't really see how the puck went in. I just saw the light go on. Getting a goal like that late in the period was huge for us."
Cloutier, who turns 26 Monday, outplayed Hasek in the first two games to help eighth-seeded Vancouver take a 2-0 lead against the Red Wings, who had the best record in the regular season by far with 116 points.
"That's what happens in the playoffs," Lidstrom said. "You run into a hot goalie and you have to create chances, get the puck to the net and get there for rebounds and get some lucky goals. We had a little bit of luck tonight, but I thought we deserved the win."
Hasek, mocked and jeered by Detroit fans after allowing eight goals on 45 shots during the first two games, finished with 22 saves. He stopped Todd Bertuzzi on a penalty shot and was named the game's first star as the Red Wings ended a six-game playoff losing streak that dated to last season.
"It was a tough situation for me after two games in Detroit so I was pretty nervous, I was more nervous than usual," Hasek said. "I wasn't really calm, I was nervous to be down 2-0."
The six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time NHL MVP robbed Markus Naslund from the slot early in the third, made a sprawling save on Ed Jovanovksi and stuffed Bertuzzi with 3:01 left.
"I didn't do anything differently," said Hasek, who was hurt by some bad bounces in the first two games. "I think overall we played a better game and myself at least, there were no bad bounces. I didn't feel really confident until the middle of the game because I didn't face too many shots."
Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan each had a goal and an assist for Detroit, which ended a nine-game winless slide with its first victory in April.
Cloutier finished with 23 saves, including several spectacular stops before whiffing on Lidstrom's long shot. Shanahan beat him cleanly between the legs 3:18 into the third period to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.
Bertuzzi scored for the Canucks, who lost for the first time in 12 games. But he couldn't convert a penalty shot after being hauled down by Lidstrom on a breakaway.
Bertuzzi tried to shoot five-hole, but Hasek closed his legs in time.
Vancouver hosts Game 4 on Tuesday night.
The Red Wings came out playing a physical style and quieted a towel-waving sellout crowd of 18,422 by outshooting Vancouver 13-4 in the opening period and jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Yzerman's power-play goal at 10:41.
The Detroit captain, playing on a sore right knee, fought off Murray Baron behind the net and squeezed a wraparound between the legs of Cloutier, who appeared to stumble trying to get back to the far post.
Vancouver tied it on its first power play, just three seconds after Detroit winger Darren McCarty took a hooking penalty early in the second period. Andrew Cassels won the ensuing faceoff inside the Detroit blue line and passed to a streaking Bertuzzi on a set play.
Bertuzzi broke in alone and beat Hasek with a roofed back-hand that re-energized the crowd and the Canucks.
Vancouver had a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds but failed to score. Lidstrom's long goal killed any Canucks momentum.
"We were feeling confident in the second, especially after killing off those penalties and getting a goal on top of that was huge," Lidstrom said. "That's playoff hockey, that's what happens in the playoffs and you just have to bounce back if it happens against you and try to make a break for yourself."
Notes: Bertuzzi's penalty shot was the 40th in NHL playoff history -- 27 have failed. Hasek has faced five of the last six, stopping four. ... Detroit coach Scotty Bowman made a couple of lineup changes, replacing rookie C Jason Williams with Boyd Devereaux, who took his old place on a line with Brett Hull and Pavel Datsyuk. Bowman also replaced D Uwe Krupp, who was minus-5 after two games, with veteran D Fredrik Olausson. Bowman split up Lidstrom and Chris Chelios, who played most of the first two games against Vancouver's top line for all but a few shifts. The coach paired Lidstrom with Olausson, while Chelios skated with Jiri Fischer. ... Canucks coach Marc Crawford split up his top line of Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison and Naslund -- one of the league's best trios this season -- late in the second period, replacing Morrison with Cassels.