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Avs End Wings' Cup Dreams


It's all over for the Detroit Red Wings, who saw their hopes for a Stanley Cup three-peat come crashing down Tuesday night.

And -- again -- it was the Colorado Avalanche who did them in.

Peter Forsberg scored twice and Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy continued his outstanding play as the Avalanche beat the Red Wings 5-2 to win their second-round series in six games.

"It's not that we didn't play well," said Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings' captain. "We just couldn't score goals. It was just so frustrating."

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  • Milan Hejduk, Chris Drury and Joe Sakic also scored for Colorado. Nicklas Lidstrom and Darren McCarty scored for the Red Wings.

    "It was a tough game and we gave it everything we had," said coach Scotty Bowman, who never won another game after the Red Wings gave him No. 200 in the playoffs by winning the first two games against the Avalanche. "We came back, but a couple plays here and there hurt us. "

    "But, overall, when you lose four straight like we did..." and his voice trailed off.

    Roy, extending his NHL playoff record for wins to 107, had 35 saves. Chris Osgood had 26 saves for the Red Wings, who were attempting to become the first team to win hree successive Stanley Cup championships since the New York Islanders won four straight between 1980-83.

    "Patrick's a winner," Colorado defenseman Adam Foote said. "We all know it here. We just followed his lead."

    It was the fourth straight win for the Avalanche, after falling behind 0-2 by losing the first two games on their home ice in Denver.

    It was only the fourth time in team history the Red Wings had lost three home games in a playoff series, and the first since 1966 against the Montreal Canadiens.

    "To win four straight against Detroit, I never thought we had a chance," Roy said. "But we had no choice. We put ourselves in a really bad position, losing those two games in Colorado."

    "Winning three games in Detroit, it's not every team that can do that."

    With the victory, the Avalanche -- who eliminated Detroit in the 1996 Western Conference finals en route to the Stanley Cup title -- move on to the conference finals for the third time in the last four years. They will face the Dallas Stars for the right to play in the Cup finals.

    Forsberg broke open a tight first period, sending a hush over Joe Louis Arena, with his fifth goal at 16:15. After snatching the puck near center ice, Valeri Kamensky skated in on Osgood from the right circle.

    As Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios gave chase, Forsberg glided in on the left side. When Osgood finally committed, Kamensky slid the puck over to Forsberg for an easy goal into an almost-empty net.

    Milan Hejduk is pumped about ousting the rival Wings.>
    Milan Hejduk is pumped about ousting the rival Wings. (AP)

    "It was an awesome feeling, coming back from 0-2," Forsberg said. "Everybody's been stepping up, from the last guy to the first guy. And Patrick's been great in net."

    The Red Wings, on the brink of elimination for the first time in three years, seemed tight during the period. None of their 11 shots gave Roy much trouble. Osgood, meanwhile, was at times brilliant at the other end, yet still trailed at the first intermission.

    The Avalanche, as they did in Game 3, broke it open with a powerful outburst to start the second period. In the third game, they scored three times in a span of 2:15 en route to a 5-3 win. This time it was three in a span of 4:02 to put an end to any dreams of a Detroit three-peat.

    Hejduk scored his fifth goal at 4:12 when he got his stick down between the circles to deflect Aaron Miller's shot from the point past Osgood.

    Drury's third goal, at 5:46, went under Osgood's stick. Sakic's second goal, t 8:14, only added to Detroit's humiliation since the Avalanche were shorthanded.

    Still, the Red Wings managed to bring the partisan crowd back to life with two goals in a 29-second span late in the period.

    Lidstrom scored his second goal on a power play at 17:24, ending a scoreless streak of 98 minutes, seven seconds dating back to the third period of Game 3. McCarty made it 4-2 with his first of these playoffs at 17:53.

    "It seemed like when Nick got the goal, it gave us a jump," Detroit forward Brendan Shanahan said. "Then, after Mac scored, I thought it was really going to happen."

    Forsberg scored an unassisted goal with 6:29 remaining.

    Since 1996, Colorado is 6-1 in Game 6 when leading a series 3-2 going in.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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