2001 Stanley Cup Finals
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NHL Hockey Scoreboard: Recap
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Colorado 4, New Jersey 0
Posted: Friday June 08, 2001 01:33 AM
Colorado Avalanche
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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Patrick Roy went from goat to hero in the span of one trip to the Meadowlands as the Colorado Avalanche forced the first seventh game in the Stanley Cup Finals in seven years with a 4-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils.

Vilified by some after his puckhandling gaffe led to the tying goal in a Game Four loss, Roy proved unbeatable on Thursday night. He recorded his second shutout of the series, tied an NHL record with his fourth of these playoffs and extended another with his 19th career postseason blanking.

"You never like to make a mistake, no doubt about it. But I think in the series everybody makes mistakes. It's part of the game," Roy said. "You just try to live with it, kind of regroup and keep playing the way I was playing. That's all I wanted."

Roy stopped 24 shots, including 12 in a lopsided first period that ended with the Avalanche in front on defenseman Adam Foote's late goal.

"Patrick is the story of the playoffs," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "He has given us consistent performances. The guys are very confident working in front of Patrick. We know that Patrick is so strong for us. I think he is a goalie that is very intimidating. ... I think that it plays in the other team's head."

Rookie Ville Nieminen and Chris Drury scored in the second and Alex Tanguay in the third for Colorado, which will host Game Seven on Saturday night. It is the first time the Stanley Cup Finals are going the distance since 1994, when the New York Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks.

The home team is 8-2 in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

"It doesn't get more important than this," Hartley said. "That's where you will see the real warriors, the guys that perform very well under pressure. They will stand up and I think that our leadership, our experience, the quality of our individuals will certainly help us in Saturday night's game."

"This is everybody's dream," Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said. "We're going to know Saturday, it'll be all over, or maybe Sunday morning. It'll be a great battle. Everybody's getting really excited about this. We wish we could've done better today. In September, if you said one game for the Stanley Cup, we'd take it in a heartbeat."

By avoiding a third straight loss, the Avalanche kept alive the Stanley Cup dream of Ray Bourque, who has played more games -- regular season and playoffs -- without winning a championship in NHL history.

"Today was my biggest game of my career and the next one is Saturday, and that's the biggest one," said Bourque, who delivered a pregame speech. "I have enjoyed every second of this so far and I am having a blast. And I am really looking forward to that game (on Saturday)."

The Devils again showed they cannot handle prosperity. For the second year in a row, they squandered a chance to win the Cup at home. Last June, Ed Belfour of the Dallas Stars made 48 saves in a triple-overtime win in Game Five, but New Jersey captured the championship on the road two nights later.

The Devils will have to do the same in Denver if they are to become the fourth franchise in the post-expansion era to win three Stanley Cups.

"We've done it the hard way the whole playoffs and we're going to do it the hard way again," New Jersey captain Scott Stevens said.

Despite the return of center Jason Arnott, New Jersey was not as physical as it had been in winning the previous two games. The Devils failed to take advantage of a rousing start, went 0-for-6 on the power play and fell to 7-6 at home in the postseason. They are 8-3 on the road.

"We're a lot more confident on the road," New Jersey center John Madden said. "I think we just play better. I think our mind's more focused.

"If someone had told us in September, you win one game and you win the Stanley Cup, we'd say we'll take it. It doesn't matter how it gets done. If we go down there and win, it's ours."

Colorado was able to carry the momentum of Foote's goal into the second period as New Jersey's Bobby Holik was penalized for roughing at the 29-second mark. With three seconds left on the ensuing power play, Nieminen deflected defenseman Martin Skoula's wrist shot from the blue line past a helpless Brodeur.

It ended a 10-game scoring drought for Nieminen and gave the Avalanche their first two-goal lead since the end of Game Three.

The crowd began to get ugly later in the period, giving Brodeur a sarcastic cheer after he handled a harmless dump-in. Fans got even more restless when the Devils iced the puck during a power play on which they were outshot, 1-0.

A successful penalty-kill sparked New Jersey, which went back on the power play when Madden drew a penalty on Bourque with 8:50 to go in the period. But the Devils again were lifeless with the man advantage and Drury made it 3-0 less than four minutes after the penalty expired.

He moved across the New Jersey blue line on a 2-on-2 but froze defenseman Colin White and beat Brodeur between the pads with a wrister from the top of the slot. It was Drury's 11th playoff goal, leaving him one behind teammate Joe Sakic for the league lead.

The Devils were booed off the ice at the end of the period.

"Happened all year, doesn't bother us," Madden said.

Tanguay capped the scoring with his second goal in as many games, beating Brodeur with a soft wrister from the edge of the right faceoff circle.

New Jersey had a 12-5 edge in shots in the opening 20 minutes, meaning the Avalanche combined for 22 shots in the last five periods at the Continental Airlines Arena.

But Colorado killed three power plays and took the lead with 1:58 left in the first. Chris Dingman pressured New Jersey's Scott Gomez along the boards, forcing a turnover outside the Devils' blue line.

Foote intercepted the errant pass, moved into the New Jersey zone and fired a slap shot from above the right circle that tipped off Brodeur's blocker and trickled into the net.

"I don't think it was deflected," Brodeur said. "I kind of lost it a little bit and it went off my pad and my blocker."

It was the third playoff goal for Foote, who had a magnificent scoring chance broken up by Alexander Mogilny in the second period of Game Five.

"Usually, I don't get the offense there, but I will take it," said Foote, who had three goals in 35 regular-season games. "The main thing is just win."

The Devils had more jump at the outset and Arnott drew a penalty on Dave Reid for holding the stick at 5:22. On the ensuing power play, an apparent goal by Gomez was negated when replays showed he kicked the puck past Roy after driving to the net.

"I tried to kick it down to my shaft and it just kept going," Gomez said.

Asked if he was confident the goal would be disallowed, Roy said, "No doubt about it. I saw him doing a (kicking) motion and I knew it would have been very surprising if they would have allowed that goal. I thought it was a pretty easy call."

With two seconds left on Reid's penalty, Patrik Elias was sprung on a partial breakaway and drew a high-sticking penalty on Foote. Roy denied Bobby Holik on a rebound of Arnott's blast and the rest of the power play was negated when Mogilny hooked Bourque at 9:12.

The Avalanche finally got their first shot with 10:15 to go in the period, but the power play was cut short when Skoula hooked Madden to break up another partial breakaway with 8:52 remaining.

"I think we came out with all the guns blazing. We had a great 25, 30 minutes," Holik said. "It was tough. We outshot them, we outplayed them and we didn't get nothing out of it. They were leading after the first. Any other time, it doesn't demoralize you as much, but when you're playing against such a good team, it's tough."

Madden gave all the credit to Roy.

"I thought we outplayed them tremendously and I thought if Roy didn't play as good as he did, it would have been 4-0, 5-0 in the first period," he said.

 

   
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