DENVER (Ticker) -- This cat has at least one life left.
Felix Potvin recorded the Los Angeles Kings' first playoff shutout in 25 years and forced a sixth game in the Western Conference semifinals as Luc Robitaille scored to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 1-0.
Nicknamed "The Cat," Potvin stopped 20 shots and benefited from a favorable call that negated an apparent goal by the Avalanche with 7:27 left in the second period. He recorded his sixth career playoff shutout and the first by the Kings since Rogie Vachon blanked the Atlanta Flames, 1-0, in the 1976 preliminary round.
"This is the best game we've played so far in this series," Potvin said. "We really stuck to our game plan, didn't give them a lot of shots."
Potvin outdueled Patrick Roy, the winningest goaltender in postseason history, and forced a sixth game in the best-of-seven series on Sunday night in Los Angeles.
"It's going to be tough to beat them twice in a row, but you've just got to play it one game at a time. If we play strong defense like we did tonight, I like our chances," Potvin said.
"The resilience of our team showed through here," added Kings coach Andy Murray. "There probably weren't a lot of people in this building who felt we could go back to Los Angeles, but I think our team firmly believed that."
Robitaille broke the scoreless deadlock with 9:55 left in the third period. After Eric Belanger won a faceoff in the right circle, he spun away from his check and threw a centering pass between defenseman Rob Blake's legs. Robitaille got the puck in front and flipped a shot past Roy for his second goal of the series and fourth of the playoffs.
"I was pretty sure the faceoff was even," said Belanger, who scored the overtime winner in Game Four of the conference semifinals. "I wanted to give it back to the point, but the puck just bounced there and it stayed there.
"I just made a 360 turnaround and the defenseman came to me and Luc was wide-open. So I decided to make the pass to Luc and he one-timed it. Luc won't miss many goals when he is in the slot wide-open."
Colorado appeared to break through in the second period, but video replay officials disallowed a goal by Milan Hejduk, ruling his stick was above the crossbar when he batted in a deflected pass.
"I thought it was pretty close. I was not sure," Hejduk said. "I didn't much celebrate, I waited for the call. It was pretty close. I don't know, I guess it was a high-stick."
The Avalanche have lost just three of their last 14 home playoff games, but two of those defeats have come in this series. They still own home-ice advantage after a pair of wins in Los Angeles and would host Game Seven on Wednesday night.
"We played a stupid game and tried to do too much on our own. It doesn't work," said Colorado center Peter Forsberg. "We are playing a good team and they are going to take advantage of that."
The Kings had a 7-5 advantage in shots in the first period, but Roy and Potvin kept the game scoreless. Roy slid way out of the net to knock the puck away from Glen Murray early in the period and Potvin kicked out his left pad to stop Alex Tanguay during a power play with just over 13 minutes remaining.
In the second, Roy got his right skate on Ziggy Palffy's shot from close range and made a left pad stop on Jozef Stumpel moments later. Potvin's best stops of the period came in succession as he got the heel of his glove on Forsberg's wraparound attempt and stopped Chris Drury's rebound from just above the crease.
"Both goalies played unbelievable," Robitaille said.
"Our game plan was to try to win 1-0 and not give up anything," added Potvin. "Patrick was playing well, but we hung in there and Luc got a big goal. I think the way he has been playing the last two or three games, you can't afford to give up three or four goals. You have to keep the game tight and hopefully score that big first goal."
That's what Robitaille provided on the game's 41st shot, ending Roy's shutout streak at 110 minutes, 45 seconds.
"Who cares about my performance? We lost and that's what we care about," Roy said. "We are up 3-2, we are going to LA and we're going to have to play a solid game."
Five minutes earlier, Chris Dingman collided with Potvin, drawing a penalty for interfering with the goaltender just as a rebound was swept into the net.
With just over four minutes left in the third period, Potvin got a piece of Drury's point-blank shot. Seconds later, Forsberg and teammate Adam Foote raised their arms, but referee Stephen Walkom ruled he blew the whistle before a loose puck was poked into the net.
"They showed tonight that they have nothing to lose," said Colorado defenseman Ray Bourque. "We talked about them coming out and being at their best, coming at us hard, and they did. We were a step behind all game long."