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Detroit shows Avs its own thunder

Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2002

DETROIT -- While many are impressed with the Detroit Red Wings, their captain, Steve Yzerman, refuses to get caught up in the hoopla.

Igor Larionov and Brendan Shanahan scored less than two minutes apart early in the third period as the Red Wings beat Colorado 3-1 to extend their home unbeaten streak to six games.

Detroit, which easily has the NHL's best record, avenged last month's 4-1 loss at home to the defending Stanley Cup champions.

''They're still the top team in the league, despite our record,'' said Yzerman, who assisted on the final goal. ''You'd like to play the top teams with their top players because that makes you better. They're missing about five guys.''

The Avalanche were without goaltender Patrick Roy, who missed a second straight game with the flu. Among the other Avalanche players out were: Alex Tanguay (ankle), Stephane Yelle (knee), Adam Foote (knee) and Peter Forsberg, who hasn't played at all this season because of various injuries.

Roy's backup, David Aebischer, started strong, but was unable to hold off the league's highest-scoring team.

Aebischer faced 35 shots while Dominik Hasek had to save just 13.

Roy, in uniform behind Colorado's bench, was unable to engage in another matchup of the league's top goalies. He was dominant while stopping 30 shots, and Hasek struggled with just 18 saves in the previous meeting between the NHL powers.

''I don't think he could've been the difference, because we were so good,'' Hasek said of Roy. ''Aebischer had a good game, but we were the better team and we kept coming and coming.''

Larionov, the NHL's oldest player, gave Detroit a 2-1 lead at 3:01 of the final period. The 41-year-old forward beat former Red Wing Todd Gill to a bouncing puck near the red line and then flipped a shot just over Aebischer's stick on a breakaway.

''Age is going to be irrelevant in how long Igor wants to play because of the condition he's in,'' Yzerman said. ''In the right situation, he could play forever.''

Just 110 seconds after Larionov's goal, Shanahan scored his 23rd on an assist from Yzerman on a 2-on-1 play.

Detroit (30-8-3-2) has lost one overtime game in its last nine.

''It's not that big of a deal,'' Yzerman said. ''We've had great years before, but we didn't get overly excited. Our goals are at the end of the season, not right now.''

Colorado (23-16-5) is 1-3-1 after going 15-3-3.

Chris Drury said the Avalanche ''certainty don't want to,'' return to the type of play that led to their slow start.

Colorado is off until playing Wednesday at home against Chicago, which will start a stretch of 11 games in 22 days. Avalanche coach Bob Hartley thought it would be better to have Roy available for those games, rather than rush him back Saturday.

''We have a tough stretch coming up, so we want him ready to go,'' Hartley said.

Penguins 4, Rangers 1

PITTSBURGH -- Alexei Kovalev scored three goals, the final two less than a minute apart in the third period, and Pittsburgh shrugged off Eric Lindros' return to beat New York.

It was Kovalev's third three-goal game this season and included a go-ahead score at 4:33 of the third -- only the 16th goal in 163 chances for the Penguins' league-worst power play.

Kovalev followed with his 16th goal of the season 48 seconds later as the Penguins won for only the second time in 11 games.

Blues 5, Stars 2

ST. LOUIS -- Cory Stillman scored three goals, and Doug Weight added four assists, leading St. Louis over Dallas.

Stillman scored a goal in every period to record his first hat trick with the Blues and the third of his career.

Keith Tkachuk and Scott Young also scored for St. Louis.

Mike Modano and Jonathan Sim scored for Dallas.

Bruins 7, Capitals 4

BOSTON -- Joe Thornton had three goals, and the Boston Bruins remained almost perfect when he scores and beat the Washington Capitals 7-4 Saturday.

The Bruins, who won for the seventh time in nine games, are 13-0-1 when Thornton get a goal. It was his second career hat trick, the other coming last March 1 against Tampa Bay.

Bill Guerin scored twice within 46 seconds midway through the second period, and Glen Murray and Rob Zamuner also had goals for Boston. Chris Simon scored twice for the Capitals, who also get power-play goals from Dainius Zubrus and Matt Pettinger.

Maple Leafs 3, Senators 1

TORONTO -- Alexander Mogilny and Darcy Tucker scored power-play goals, and Ottawa had a franchise-low 10 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Senators 3-1 Saturday.

Mike Fisher scored a short-handed goal for the Senators, whose previous low was 11 shots on Dec 30, 1993 against Tampa Bay.

Robert Reichel also scored for the Maple Leafs, who had lost their previous seven regular-season games to Ottawa. Toronto swept Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Devils 2, Hurricanes 1

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Petr Sykora scored twice in a span of five minutes in the second period and Martin Brodeur stopped 22 of 23 shots as New Jersey beat Carolina.

Southeast Division-leading Carolina has lost two straight at home after a franchise-record 20 points in December. Sami Kapanen, second in the NHL in scoring, and Ron Francis had six-game point streaks snapped in the loss.

Kings 3, Islanders 0

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Eric Belanger scored twice in the third period and former Islanders goalie Felix Potvin stopped 28 shots against his old team as Los Angeles blanked New York.

Bryan Smolinski also scored for the Kings, who have wins in their last two visits to Long Island.

After two scoreless periods, Belanger put the Kings up 1-0 at 5:44 of the third. Smolinski added a power-play goal at 12:38 to give the Kings some breathing room. Belanger finished the scoring with a short-handed empty-net goal as Smolinski set him up at 17:57.

Canadiens 4, Flames 2

CALGARY, Alberta -- Doug Gilmour scored the go-ahead goal 3:43 into the third period as Montreal ended a four-game losing streak with a victory over Calgary.

Gilmour, playing his second game since coming back from a back injury that sidelined him for the first three games of Montreal's seven-game road trip, also had an assist to pass Guy Lafleur for 16th place on the NHL's career scoring list with 1,354 points.

Jose Theodore made 19 saves, and Stephane Quintal, Brian Savage and Oleg Petrov also scored for Montreal.

Canucks 4, Oilers 3

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Trevor Letowski and Brendan Morrison scored late in the third period to rally Vancouver to a victory over Edmonton.

Letowski tied the game 3-3 at 15:33 when he ripped a shot past goaltender Tommy Salo, then assisted the winner at 17:19 by Morrison, who tipped in a shot by Jan Hlavac.

The two goals negated a furious rally by the Oilers, who trailed 2-0 after the first period but took a 3-2 lead on a goal by Jochen Hecht at 7:58 of the third.

Sharks 6, Panthers 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Miikka Kiprusoff got his first NHL shutout, making 28 saves for his third victory in four days as San Jose beat Florida.

Niklas Sundstrom, Mike Ricci and Todd Harvey each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks. Adam Graves scored a short-handed goal that highlighted San Jose's four-goal third period.

Patrick Marleau and Matt Bradley also scored for the Sharks.

San Jose supported Kiprusoff with 16 goals during the goalie's three-game roll.



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