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Wings win 3-1 at home, cut Colorado's series lead
Posted: Tuesday May 02, 2000 01:47 AM
DETROIT (AP) -- Faced with the possibility of falling hopelessly behind, the Detroit Red Wings turned to a familiar solution -- their Russian connection.
The Red Wings got goals from Igor Larionov and Sergei Fedorov on Monday night in a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who eliminated Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals last season.
Brendan Shanahan also scored for the Red Wings who lost the first two games of this second-round series in Denver.
"It seems to me we didn't think much about going down three games," Fedorov said. "We mostly concentrated on playing our game."
Peter Forsberg scored for Colorado, which won 14 of its previous 15 games.
The best-of-seven series continues with Game 4 on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena. Game 5 will be Friday night at Denver.
"We knew it would be hard to sweep that team," Avs forward Joe Sakic said. "That's a good hockey club. They played tonight like we played in the first two games -- when we won."
The first three goals came on power plays and Shanahan scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining. Detroit finished with a 36-23 shot advantage over the Avs, who outshot their opponents in every playoff game this season -- until this one.
"I thought they played better," Colorado goalie Patrick Roy said. "They played very well defensively."
The Red Wings, who looked a tad old and a step slow during the first two games against the high-flying Avalanche, looked more like a team bent on reclaiming the Stanley Cup championship during the first period.
The Red Wings -- flashing the speed and precision that made them the top-scoring team in the NHL during the regular season -- had a 14-6 edge in shots during the first 20 minutes.
And they also had the lead for the first time in this series.
The Red Wings, scoreless in their first nine power plays of the series, took a 1-0 lead on Larionov's first goal at 9:38 while Colorado forward Milan Hejduk was off for holding Tomas Holmstrom's stick. The goal was set up by Nicklas Lidstrom who patiently glided through the left circle with the puck before passing it to Martin Lapointe near the left post.
Lapointe tipped it to Larionov who had an open shot on the right side before Roy could recover.
"I thought they scored some nice goals," Roy said. "They're a good hockey team, but I don't think we have to change very much."
Forsberg, who scored the winning goal in three consecutive playoff games, tied it 1-1 with his fourth goal at 9:39 of the second while Larionov was off for holding. Forsberg, taking a pass from Ray Bourque, sent a slap shot over Detroit goalie Chris Osgood's left shoulder.
Bourque, however, bruised his left foot sometime during the period and didn't come out for the third period.
"I got hit with the puck," Bourque said. "I finished the period. But as I went on the pain was too bad, so I couldn't go out for the third."
The good news is the foot isn't broken.
"I don't know yet about Game 4," Bourque said. "We'll have to wait and see tomorrow. See how it feels and go from there."
Fedorov's fourth goal, 30 seconds after Shjon Podein was sent off for tripping, gave Detroit a 2-1 lead. Roy, partially blocked by Holmstrom and Steve Yzerman, didn't get a good look at the shot from the top of the left circle.
"I didn't see Fedorov's goal until it was in the net," Roy said. "I don't know where it came from."
The Avs, who have scored 11 of their 23 goals on power plays, had the man advantage when Shanahan was sent off for holding Stephane Yelle's stick with 9:08 left in the third period, but they got only two harmless shots on Osgood.
"The first three games of this series have shown that there's just not any ice out there in 5-on-5 situations," Avs coach Bob Hartley said. "You really have to battle for every inch of space you get."
The game was held up for about five minutes at 7:48 of the third period after Larionov was driven into the boards by Avs forward Serge Aubin.
The Red Wings, who won consecutive Cup titles in 1997 and 1998, have been eliminated from the playoffs the last three times they have fallen behind 2-0 in a series: in 1996 against Colorado (six games), in 1995 against New Jersey (four) and in 1992 against Chicago (four).
The last time Detroit fell behind 2-0 and won a series was in the first round of the 1992 playoffs against Minnesota (now the Dallas Stars) in seven games.