Red Wings draw even with Flames

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2004

DETROIT Steve Yzerman pumped his fist and screamed with joy as his adoring fans went wild.

All was well in Hockeytown thanks to ''The Captain.''

Yzerman scored twice 2:13 apart in the second period to give Detroit a three-goal lead, and the Red Wings defeated Calgary 5-2 Saturday in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal.

''It's amazing how much energy you have after scoring goals,'' Yzerman said.

He would know.

Yzerman has a franchise-record 70 playoff goals and 181 points in his 20 seasons with the Red Wings. In regular-season games, he's the sixth-leading scorer in NHL history.

One of the game's greatest centers was moved to right wing Saturday and put on the ''Grind Line'' with center Kris Draper and left wing Kirk Maltby.

''They played together at some point in the season,'' Detroit coach Dave Lewis said. ''Draper and Maltby, with their speed, and Stevie, with his smarts and hands, they find a way to generate offense.''

Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots in the loss, and Curtis Joseph had to make just 14 saves.

''They are the best team in the National Hockey League when they get the lead,'' Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. ''They shut you down at the blue line. That's the system they play.

''To think that you are going to get a whole bunch of chances against them is not feasible. If you get 10, you got to score on two of them.''

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday in Calgary.

Tomas Holmstrom gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead early in the second period, and after Yzerman's goals, Shean Donovan made it 3-1 at 13:50 of the second.

Detroit had a two-man advantage late in the third period and scored both times, the first on Brett Hull's one-timer and the second on Nicklas Lidstrom's slap shot. Calgary's Martin Gelinas scored his third goal of the playoffs with 1:10 left.

The Flames managed to win Game 1 without any points from NHL MVP finalist Jarome Iginla, but couldn't do it again. Iginla had eight points in the first round against Vancouver after scoring a league-high 41 goals in the regular season.

But the sixth-seeded Flames don't mind going home with the series tied against the Red Wings, who had an NHL-high 109 points this season.

''We cannot be disappointed about the way we played,'' Sutter said.

Calgary is in the second round for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 1989. The Red Wings are aiming for their fourth Cup in eight years.

With 23.5 seconds left Saturday, Iginla and Derian Hatcher squared off in one of many fights, which left sticks and gloves scattered on the ice.

''We can't show them too much respect,'' Iginla said.

Holmstrom started Detroit's flurry of goals when he redirected Lidstrom's shot at 3:02 of the second period.

Yzerman scored both his goals midway through the second.

Mathieu Dandenault's end-to-end rush set up Yzerman's one-timer from inside the right circle. From almost the same spot, Yzerman lifted a shot over Kiprusoff off of a centering pass from Kirk Maltby.

Detroit was 3-for-6 on the power play and Calgary was 0-for-5. Entering the game, the Red Wings had scored just twice on 35 power plays in the playoffs.

''It's nice to see the puck finally going in the net,'' said Yzerman, who scored both of his goals in even-strength situations.

In the first period, Calgary defenseman Rhett Warrener had blurry vision after being struck in the right eye and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. When his vision improved, doctors cleared him to play. He was on Calgary's bench in the third period, but didn't return to the ice.

Sharks 4, Avalanche 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. Jonathan Cheechoo's goal was a thing of beauty. The rest of San Jose's latest playoff triumph was the result of old-fashioned hard work.

Patrick Marleau scored his NHL-leading seventh goal of the postseason, and Cheechoo ensured the victory with a breathtaking between-the-legs goal in the Sharks' 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series.

Marleau, Cheechoo and Vincent Damphousse each had a goal and an assist, and Evgeni Nabokov recovered after getting flattened by Peter Forsberg to make 20 saves as the Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Wayne Primeau added an empty-net goal for the Sharks, who are two victories away from the franchise's first trip to the Western Conference finals. Except for Cheechoo's highlight-reel goal, not much was flashy about the Sharks but they headed to Game 3 in Denver on Monday with all the momentum.

Niko Dimitrakos had two assists, including an exceptional pass to Marleau to set up the captain's goal in the final minute of the second period. Dimitrakos has five assists in the Sharks' two second-round games, both models of San Jose's relentless discipline, puck possession and strong defense.

Milan Hejduk scored for the Avalanche, who lost the first two games of a playoff series for the first time since the 1999 conference semifinals. David Aebischer improved on his subpar opening-game performance with 20 saves, but he had practically no chance to stop any of the Sharks' goals.

The Sharks recovered from an early deficit and led 2-1 entering the third period, but weathered several Colorado rushes until they earned a power play.

Defenseman Brad Stuart then took the puck low and passed to Cheechoo, who put his stick backward between his legs and flipped a shot past Aebischer's glove in one fluid motion.

The Avalanche lost their cool in Game 1, starting four fights in the final seconds of their 5-2 loss. They were vastly improved in the rematch, keeping their cool and taking an early lead when San Jose had a rare lapse in discipline, getting caught in a sloppy line change.

Nabokov was left defenseless, and Matthew Barnaby set up Hejduk's fourth goal of the postseason.

Aebischer, pulled midway through Game 1 after allowing five goals on 17 shots, made several good saves early and after being mostly invisible in the opener, Forsberg played his usual dominant game. That led to several spectacular plays, but his aggression also resulted in two key interference penalties in the second period.

Damphousse scored on the power play following Forsberg's first penalty of the period, and his apparent goal while running over Nabokov moments later was waved off. Forsberg complained bitterly on his way to the box.

Avalanche captain Joe Sakic also set up Cheechoo's goal with a boarding penalty in the third.

With the return of All-Star Alex Tanguay, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, Colorado scratched nine-time All-Star Teemu Selanne, who had just 16 goals in the regular season.

Notes: Barnaby, Colorado's top agitator, goaded Mark Smith into dropping the gloves in the opening minutes. Barnaby then shied from the fight, and Smith got four minutes for roughing. ... Early in the second period, Forsberg swatted the puck into the Sharks' net with his glove. Officials immediately waved off the goal. ... Primeau's goal was his first point of the postseason.

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