Devils turn over a few Leafs

New Jersey, Brodeur take 2-1 series lead

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If the Toronto Maple Leafs have hopes of ending their 33-year Stanley Cup drought, they'd better find a way to beat Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils soon.

Brodeur withstood Toronto's best period of the series and stopped 22 shots overall, and the Devils got three goals from their special teams in posting a 5-1 victory over the Maple Leafs on Monday night.

''We did a lot of stupid things early that we hadn't done in the first two games and luckily, Marty kept us in it,'' coach Larry Robinson said after the Devils took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Jason Arnott, Scott Gomez, Patrik Elias, Petr Sykora and Alexander Mogilny scored, while Elias added two assists as New Jersey dominated for the third straight game.

New Jersey could easily have a 3-0 lead if Curtis Joseph hadn't stolen the opening game with a 32-save performance in a 2-1 Toronto victory.

''It's not over,'' Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. ''That's why they play seven games. Hopefully, we can scramble back.''

Game 4 will also be played at New Jersey.

''Now we have to come back strong on Wednesday night,'' said Brodeur, who has allowed nine goals in seven playoffs games. ''We don't want to have to go up to Toronto, knowing we have to win that game.''

The Maple Leafs, who generated only a couple of scoring chances in the opening two games at home, had seven outstanding chances in the opening 20 minutes. Brodeur stopped odd-man rushes by Wendel Clark, Igor Korolev and Dmitri Khristich and some good close-in chances by Sergei Berezin and Adam Mair.

''I felt pretty good, I had to make a lot of big saves early,'' said Brodeur, who came within 4:17 of posting his second straight shutout. ''You have to be in a zone in the playoffs.''

The only shot Brodeur missed was a meaningless short-handed tally by Kevyn Adams with the game already decided.

Joseph was just as good at the other end for a period, stopping 14 shots. However, he never had a chance once New Jersey got rolling in the second period.

Mair picked up a four-minute high sticking penalty for cutting Daneyko and it only took the Devils 37 seconds to cash in. Sykora made a nice play getting the puck into the offensive zone and Arnott eventually tipped a Bobby Holik shot past Joseph from right in front of the crease at 9:42.

''When they scored on the first power play, it turned the tide and we weren't up to it after that,'' Quinn said.

Gomez, who was in danger of being benched for Game 2 despite his rookie of the year credentials, stretched the lead to 2-0 at 15:03. He beat Adams on a faceoff above the top of the circle, took a skate pass from Claude Lemieux and beat Joseph low to the glove side.

''We've showed that we can play when the score is close, a one goal game, but we also showed tonight that we can open things up when everybody is going,'' Gomez said. ''The key guys came out tonight.''

Elias, who led the Devils with 35 goals this season, made a great play to score short-handed 2:30 later. He intercepted a Korolev breakout pass at the Toronto blue line, skated right at Joseph and then went behind the net and scored on a wraparound.

Sykora put the game away at 4:27 of the final period with a tap-in goal set up by Arnott and Elias.

Mogilny closed out the scoring on a power play, putting the rebound of a Lemieux shot into an empty net.

''I'm not happy how we played,'' Quinn said. ''Part of it was how well they played and part of it was we did not respond. In the third period we did not compete.''

New Jersey outshot Toronto 14-2 in the third period, and 36-23 for the game.

Red Wings 3, Avalanche 1

DETROIT -- Faced with the possibility of falling hopelessly behind, the Detroit Red Wings turned to a familiar solution -- their Russian connection.

The Red Wings got goals from Igor Larionov and Sergei Fedorov on Monday night in a victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who eliminated Detroit in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

Brendan Shanahan also scored for the Red Wings who lost the first two games of this second-round series in Denver.

''It seems to me we didn't think much about going down three games,'' Fedorov said. ''We mostly concentrated on playing our game.''

Peter Forsberg scored for Colorado, which won 14 of its previous 15 games.

The best-of-seven series continues with Game 4 on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena. Game 5 will be Friday night at Denver.

''We knew it would be hard to sweep that team,'' Avs forward Joe Sakic said. ''That's a good hockey club. They played tonight like we played in the first two games -- when we won.''

The first three goals came on power plays and Shanahan scored into an empty net with 40 seconds remaining. Detroit finished with a 36-23 shot advantage over the Avs, who outshot their opponents in every playoff game this season -- until this one.

''I thought they played better,'' Colorado goalie Patrick Roy said. ''They played very well defensively.''

The Red Wings, who looked a tad old and a step slow during the first two games against the high-flying Avalanche, looked more like a team bent on reclaiming the Stanley Cup championship during the first period.

The Red Wings -- flashing the speed and precision that made them the top-scoring team in the NHL during the regular season -- had a 14-6 edge in shots during the first 20 minutes.

And they also had the lead for the first time in this series.

The Red Wings, scoreless in their first nine power plays of the series, took a 1-0 lead on Larionov's first goal at 9:38 while Colorado forward Milan Hejduk was off for holding Tomas Holmstrom's stick. The goal was set up by Nicklas Lidstrom who patiently glided through the left circle with the puck before passing it to Martin Lapointe near the left post.

Lapointe tipped it to Larionov who had an open shot on the right side before Roy could recover.

''I thought they scored some nice goals,'' Roy said. ''They're a good hockey team, but I don't think we have to change very much.''

Forsberg, who scored the winning goal in three consecutive playoff games, tied it 1-1 with his fourth goal at 9:39 of the second while Larionov was off for holding. Forsberg, taking a pass from Ray Bourque, sent a slap shot over Detroit goalie Chris Osgood's left shoulder.

Bourque, however, bruised his left foot sometime during the period and didn't come out for the third period.

''I got hit with the puck,'' Bourque said. ''I finished the period. But as I went on the pain was too bad, so I couldn't go out for the third.''

The good news is the foot isn't broken.

''I don't know yet about Game 4,'' Bourque said. ''We'll have to wait and see tomorrow. See how it feels and go from there.''

Fedorov's fourth goal, 30 seconds after Shjon Podein was sent off for tripping, gave Detroit a 2-1 lead. Roy, partially blocked by Holmstrom and Steve Yzerman, didn't get a good look at the shot from the top of the left circle.

''I didn't see Fedorov's goal until it was in the net,'' Roy said. ''I don't know where it came from.''

The Avs, who have scored 11 of their 23 goals on power plays, had the man advantage when Shanahan was sent off for holding Stephane Yelle's stick with 9:08 left in the third period, but they got only two harmless shots on Osgood.

''The first three games of this series have shown that there's just not any ice out there in 5-on-5 situations,'' Avs coach Bob Hartley said. ''You really have to battle for every inch of space you get.''

The game was held up for about five minutes at 7:48 of the third period after Larionov was driven into the boards by Avs forward Serge Aubin.

The Red Wings, who won consecutive Cup titles in 1997 and 1998, have been eliminated from the playoffs the last three times they have fallen behind 2-0 in a series: in 1996 against Colorado (six games), in 1995 against New Jersey (four) and in 1992 against Chicago (four).

The last time Detroit fell behind 2-0 and won a series was in the first round of the 1992 playoffs against Minnesota (now the Dallas Stars) in seven games.



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