Sakic converted a penalty shot, scored an insurance goal and added two assists and Roy made 31 saves, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 victory over the well-rested St. Louis Blues in the opener of the Western Conference finals.
Forsberg underwent an emergency spleenectomy early Thursday morning, hours after the Avalanche defeated the Los Angeles Kings in the decisive seventh game of the conference semifinals. But Colorado did not miss the four-time All-Star in the first game of this best-of-seven series.
"Let's face it, you can't call anyone up from the minors and ask him to replace Peter Forsberg," Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. "I think there's only one Peter Forsberg. But we can turn around and trust 23 athletes in our dressing room. That's exactly where our focus is."
Sakic missed most of three games in the Kings' series with a right shoulder injury but looked fully recovered against St. Louis, which was playing for the first time since completing a four-game sweep of the Dallas Stars nine days ago.
A finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL Most Valuable Player, Sakic converted the first postseason penalty shot in franchise history to break a second-period tie and scored again early in the third to give the Avalanche some breathing room.
Roy did not need it.
The winningest goaltender in playoff history stopped all 17 shots in the third period and made a flurry of saves to help Colorado kill a power play when the Blues trailed by two goals. Roy has allowed four goals in his last five games, stopping 132 of 136 shots.
"Patrick played awesome again tonight," Sakic said. "He gave us an opportunity to win the hockey game. I thought we played really well in our end, did a good job, but especially on that power play they had in the third period, I don't know how many point-blank shots he had. He kept it 3-1. That was a huge period for us where he came up big with some big stops."
While St. Louis was 0-for-2 with the man advantage, the Avalanche scored twice against a penalty-killing unit that had yielded just one goal in 39 chances through the first two rounds.
"Our penalty-killing has been good all playoffs," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "They got some dangerous guys and loose pucks. We want to make sure we do clear, we do tie them up around the net."
Scott Young's shorthanded goal in the opening minute of the second period was all the Blues could muster against Roy as they lost Game One for the first time in the last four playoff series.
"We got spanked," St. Louis captain Chris Pronger said. "The layoff, I'm sure, didn't help. We didn't come out the way we wanted to. They got that quick goal. You're behind the eight-ball right off the bat."
Young intercepted a pass from Alex Tanguay, broke in alone and put his own rebound past Roy for his team-best fifth playoff goal. He has scored two of St. Louis' league-leading three shorthanded tallies.
With 13:15 left in the second, Blues goaltender Roman Turek made a stop and lost his stick while lunging to get a piece of Sakic's backhanded rebound attempt. Referee Stephen Walkom ruled Turek intentionally threw the stick and awarded a penalty shot.
"You could argue it a little bit because it's got to be intentional and you've got to know that that was his intent," Quenneville said. "(Walkom) had a pretty good view of it. I guess that's what he thought. I think that's debatable because you have to know exactly if it was intentional. I don't know if anybody knows except for Roman. But he didn't have good possession of his stick when he did swing around."
Sakic improved to 4-for-4 in his career on penalty shots as he drifted down the right side of the slot and whipped a wrister about a foot and a half off the ice that beat Turek to the stick side and caromed in off the right goalpost.
"Just went down, I was thinking shot on the way," said Sakic, whose four-point game tied a playoff career high. "I just came inside, looked for an opening. There was a little opening there. I tried to shoot short side, not necessarily off the post. But fortunately, it went in off the post."
Sakic was stopped on a 2-on-1 in the final seconds of the second period but made no mistake on another odd-man rush 5:18 into the third. Breaking down the right side on a 2-on-1, he worked a give-and-go with Tanguay and shoveled in a one-timer as Turek went down for his seventh goal, tying teammate Chris Drury for the league lead.
"We got some breaks on the second goal. It was going to be an (icing), bounced off the linesman's leg," Sakic said.
"You look at Joe and the way he's responded. We know he's banged up a little bit, but he was great tonight," said Young. "It's always been the Sakic-Forsberg 1-2 punch. He's definitely going to take it upon himself to lead the team."
Hejduk capped the scoring on the power play with six minutes to go, getting his second goal of the game and sixth of the postseason. He also got things started 4:32 into the first period, 73 seconds after Blues defenseman Alexei Gusarov was penalized for cross-checking.
"It was a huge start for us," said Hejduk, who had 41 goals during the regular season. "The first home game, we won and it's great. Now we have to keep going because it's just one game."
Turek stopped 26 shots and had a six-game winning streak snapped.
"I think we were trying to press things and trying to initiate a little too much," Pronger said. "We have to initiate to a point, whether it be not retaliating or making first contact, but don't go out of your way to try to hit; stay in your position."