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Detroit done

Avs close out Red Wings with 4-2 Game 5 win

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Posted: Saturday May 06, 2000 10:46 AM

  Colorado's Eric Messier pins Red Wing Aaron Ward against the boards and gets an extra hit with a glove in the face. AP

DENVER (AP) -- Peter Forsberg 5, Steve Yzerman 0.

In a series of dueling superstars, Colorado's Forsberg forged a clear goal-scoring advantage on Detroit's Yzerman, and the Avalanche eliminated the Red Wings from the NHL playoffs with a 4-2 victory Friday night.

Forsberg's fifth goal of the playoffs -- and his fourth game-winner -- helped Colorado claim the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series 4-1.

The Avalanche advance to the conference finals against either Dallas or San Jose. Dallas leads that series 3-1.

It marked the second straight year Colorado ousted its archrival in the second round. Since moving from Quebec in 1995, the Avalanche are 4-0 in second-round series.

"Sometimes you score a bunch of goals and never get a game-winner," Forsberg said, "so I'll take it."

Forsberg's first winner came in the clinching game of the first-round series against Phoenix. His other three came in each of Colorado's home games in this series.

"It has been a bad season for me," Forsberg said, referring to a spate of injuries during the regular season. "I've been looking forward to the playoffs. I wasn't feeling that great coming into the playoffs, but I'm playing better and better. Hopefully, we'll get a few days off now and go for the next round." Analysis
Darren Eliot
The Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings are bitter rivals, meeting in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. But this rivalry is becoming decidedly one-sided, as the Avalanche eliminated the Red Wings in five games.

Why was this series not nearly as competitive as everyone expected? First, tight checking, bad bounces and bad breaks conspired to keep Steve Yzerman scoreless for the first post-season of his career. After all these many years, the Red Wings still rely on Yzerman's offense, especially in critical situations.

Second, Chris Osgood failed to make necessary stops, while Patrick Roy made tough chances routine at the other end.

Next, the Red Wings had several veterans display frustration, manifested by a few undisciplined penalties. Brendan Shanahan, in particular, seemed more intent on using his stick to inflict pain in the early stages of Game 5 rather than to score goals.

Finally, the Avalanche displayed a collective hunger that was lacking on the part of the Red Wings. Eric Messier out-hustling Nicklas Lidstrom to nullify an icing call, leading to the fourth goal and an insurmountable lead, was the perfect example.

So, Colorado emerges victorious for the third time at the expense of the Red Wings, leaving them frustrated and forlorn. More importantly, the 'lanche are on their way to the Conference Finals for the fourth time in five years.

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For the second straight year, the Avs end the Red Wings' season. Start (1.36 M .mov)
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Yzerman, who has scored 627 career goals but who failed to score a goal in either the first-round series against Los Angeles or against Colorado, was very dejected after the loss.

"You never enjoy losing," he said. "We were close, just not quite good enough. That is what is disappointing. We are frustrated, because we played pretty hard and had a good effort. We just didn't get it done.

"We couldn't finish off our scoring chances. We couldn't make a pass or make a play when we needed to. We tried and tried."

Colorado defenseman Adam Foote was on the ice for most of Yzerman's even-strength shifts in the series, and Detroit coach Scotty Bowman called Foote a "smart, hard-nosed player. He had a big series. There wasn't much room on the ice."

The Avalanche, who have won 16 of their last 18 games, succeeded for the second straight game without veteran defenseman Ray Bourque, out with a knee injury sustained in Game 3. Since Bourque was acquired from Boston on March 6, Colorado has gone 20-4-1.

Forsberg's goal at 4:40 of the third period gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead. Barely a minute later, Detroit's Brendan Shanahan made it 3-2, but Colorado's fourth line produced an insurance goal as Shjon Podein scored on a rebound at 9:01.

Colorado's Patrick Roy, extending his NHL record for playoff victories to 118, had 20 saves. Chris Osgood had 21 saves.

Colorado's Bob Hartley, the first coach to beat Bowman in back-to-back playoff series, praised his goalie.

"Patrick has given us tons of big saves at key moments, and his confidence is contagious in the dressing room," Hartley said.

"Right now I feel like I'm moving very well in the net," Roy admitted. "It's probably the best I've felt all year.

"The guys in front of me have been very sharp, and I feel like we're playing really smart hockey. We don't make it tough on ourselves. If we have to dump the puck in, we dump the puck in. We're doing the small things that make the difference between winning and losing."

Neither team mounted any serious scoring threats in a tentative first period that saw Colorado outshoot Detroit 8-5.

Osgood was penalized for slashing midway through the period, and during that advantage Colorado got off three shots, including a hard shot by Chris Drury.

Colorado's Joe Sakic and Stephane Yelle scored in the second period, and Detroit's Larry Murphy countered with a short-handed goal.

Adam Deadmarsh, beating Yzerman on a faceoff in the Detroit end, got the puck to Sakic, who scored a power-play goal on a wrist shot from just outside the right circle at 2:46. The goal came only eight seconds after Nicklas Lidstrom went off for tripping and was Sakic's 100th career playoff point.

Later in the period, Osgood made a sprawling save to rob Sakic from the slot.

At 10:01, Aaron Miller launched a long shot from beyond the right circle, and Yelle tapped in the rebound for a 2-0 lead.

Moments later, Colorado threatened to pad its lead when Shanahan was penalized for high-sticking. But Murphy took a pass from Igor Larionov and beat Roy from close range. Murphy's short-handed goal was his 150th career playoff point.

Forsberg's 40-foot rocket sailed over Osgood's left shoulder early in the final period. Shanahan scored from the slot after a deflection at 6:13.

Three minutes later, Eric Messier kept a play alive by beating Lidstrom to the puck to prevent an icing call, then got the puck to rookie Serge Aubin. Aubin's shot from the left circle rebounded out front, where Podein tipped it in.

Related information
Drury scores in OT to give Avs 3-2 win, 3-1 lead
Drury, Avs focused on finishing off Wings
Red Wings-Avalanche Game 5 Summary
For the second straight year, the Avs end the Red Wings' postseason.
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