Stanley Cup Notebook
Bourque snaps record with game-winning goal
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Ray Bourque hadn't scored a goal in the Stanley Cup finals in over 11 years. If that didn't show his age, the record he set did.
It also made the 40-year-old defenseman the oldest player to score in the finals and gave the Avalanche a 2-1 series lead.
The last time Bourque, who has never won a Cup in 22 seasons, scored in the finals was May 15, 1990, when he tallied twice for Boston against Edmonton.
"It has been a while," Bourque said. "I mentioned that to a couple of guys and you know, it turned out I got one tonight."
Montreal's Jean Beliveau had been the oldest to score, when he did it at age 39 in 1971.
TrendsThe Stanley Cup finals have been very streaky the last seven years. After four straight sweeps from 1995-98, a new trend has begun.
In each of the last three finals, the road team has earned a split of the first two games only to return home and lose Game 3.
Colorado kept that going Thursday night with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The Avalanche won 5-0 in Game 1 before heading East after dropping the second game 2-1.
The Buffalo Sabres won Game 1 in 1999 at Dallas before losing the next two games to the Stars. Buffalo dropped that series in six games.
The Devils were on the positive side of the equation last year. Their run to the championship started with a Game 1 victory and a second game loss at Continental Airlines Arena.
The Devils won Games 3 and 4 in Dallas, and returned home with a chance to win the Cup. They disappointed their fans with a Game 5 loss, and then upset the Dallas faithful by ending the series in six games.
Roy on the roadColorado goalie Patrick Roy had his road shutout streak in the finals snapped at 156 minutes, 28 seconds when Jason Arnott gave the Devils the lead 3:16 into Game 3.
The streak was the second longest in finals history, topped only by the 168:21 run of Toronto's Frank McCool from April 6-19, 1945.
Roy fell less than two minutes short of the overall record when Bob Corkum beat him in Colorado in the first period of Game 2.
Old DevilKen Daneyko is as much a constant with the New Jersey Devils as the pointed tail in the team logo.
The 37-year-old has been with the Devils since the 1983-84 season -- just one year after the team moved from Colorado. He has never played with another NHL team and has never missed any of the Devils' 151 playoff games.
After being the laughingstock of the NHL in their early years, the Devils are shooting for their third Stanley Cup in seven years.
"This is what we play for," he said before Game 3. "I'm more excited than the first time around. It doesn't get old. It's a great feeling.
"This does not ever get old. This is our lives and right now it's the most important thing in our lives."
Move awayWith the Stanley Cup finals back in the New York metropolitan area, the Colorado Avalanche felt the full crush of the media Thursday in the small visitors locker room at Continental Airlines Arena.
Steven Reinprecht had the misfortune of having his locker right near the entrance. Asked if this was the smallest dressing room in the NHL, the center said: "Right now it is."
"They need a better setup," Reinprecht added, "or I need a different stall."
Big differenceSure John Vanbiesbrouck would rather play instead of serving as the backup to Martin Brodeur. But he also knows that he has a good shot to win his first Stanley Cup with Brodeur in goal for the New Jersey Devils.
"I want Marty to stay healthy because that's our best chance to win the Stanley Cup," said Vanbiesbrouck, who was Florida's regular goalie when Colorado swept the Panthers in 1996 - his only appearance in the finals.
"All the people who know the situation know that we never won in Colorado," he said. "But this is a different team, different situation."
Vanbiesbrouck, who also played for New York's Rangers and Islanders, and Philadelphia, has reached the Stanley Cup finals for just the second time in 19 NHL seasons.
Time to studyAvalanche forward Ville Nieminen found plenty of time to read hockey history books while spending three-plus seasons with Hershey of the American Hockey League.
Nieminen was talking about past world championships and former NHL stars Thursday when a reporter asked when the player had time to learn all of it.
"With 1,300 hours in a bus, you learn everything," Nieminen said. "You have lots of time to read books for hours."
Now that he has made it in the NHL, he uses his time differently.
"I used to read lots of stats," he said. "Not anymore though."