Work in Sports
Devils' third-period flurry floors Stars
Posted: Tuesday June 06, 2000 07:20 PM
By David Vecsey, CNNSI.com
DALLAS -- 'Cuz it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ... ice ... rink.
It was the hockey equivalent of baseball's three-pitch inning. Quick, decisive and devastating.
In a span of 3:41 early in the third period, the New Jersey Devils scored three goals on three shots to beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 and virtually crush the Stars' hopes of a repeat championship. The series goes back to Jersey with the Devils holding a 3-1 series lead and looking to crush the Stars for good in Game 5 on Thursday night.
"We got our heart ripped out from us a little bit today," said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock, whose team had only given up three goals in the third period three times this season (going 0-3) and have now had it happen twice in four Stanley Cup finals games.
"We went from quite a high to quite a low. ... If you look at all three goals, they were all made off of terrific defensive plays. They weren't made off terrific offensive plays. Three defensemen made unbelievable plays and turned it into offensive opportunities."
2:27 of the Third: Brylin from Mogilny and Malakhov
Trailing 1-0, the Devils opened the third period looking to create some of the odd-man rushes that had been their death blow all playoffs.
Defenseman Vladimir Malakhov began this play with a long rush from center, taking a turnover from about center ice and veering around a Stars defenseman and toward the left corner. He sent a backward centering pass to Alexander Mogilny, who fired a laser right into Ed Belfour. The puck dropped to the ice and Sergei Brylin was there to poke it in for the equalizer.
"It is things that we are doing that are hurting ourselves in the end," said Stars center Mike Modano, who was not on the ice for any of the goals. "Our decisions with and without the puck, you know? Getting caught on the odd pinches here and there, allowing too many outnumbered situations."
4:51 of the Third: Madden from Nemchinov and Daneyko, Short-handed
With New Jersey defenseman Colin White off serving an interference penalty, short-handed goal artist John Madden got two shots at Belfour on identical 2-on-1's. The first Belfour stopped when Madden opted to shoot instead of pass.
But as the Stars tried to set up offensively, Ken Daneyko stole the puck along the right boards. He poked it past a pinching Dallas player to Sergei Nemchinov, who in turn poked it to Madden.
Scott Stevens joined in on the 2-on-1 and again Madden opted to shoot, this time finding some available top-shelf space on Belfour's stick side and giving the Devils the lead.
"I got real lucky to have the same exact shot within about 30 seconds," said Madden, who led all rookies with six short-handed goals this season after setting an NCAA record with 23 of them at Michigan.
"He had the same shot the first time and he just was a little fine on it," said coach Larry Robinson. "And I was saying to myself, 'Please don't pass it this time!' because he had the same amount of net to shoot at. Usually the guy that goes in the first time doesn't usually miss the second."
6:08 of the Third: Rafalski from Elias
The final blow was delivered 1:11 later, when Patrik Elias forced a turnover just outside the Devils' blue line. The puck skipped up to Brian Rafalski, who went straight up the gut and blasted the puck between Belfour's pads.