DETROIT -- A year ago, Colorado eliminated the Detroit Red Wings from the NHL playoffs in six games. It might not take the Avalanche that long this time.
Chris Drury's goal at 10:21 of overtime lifted Colorado to a 3-2 victory Wednesday night and gave the Avs a commanding 3-1 lead over the Red Wings in their Western Conference semifinal series.
''I thought we battled hard,'' Detroit forward Doug Brown said. ''But, sometimes the puck goes the other way.''
In this case, it went the other way after Detroit defenseman Steve Duchesne got caught out of position. Duchesne followed Red Wings forward Steve Yzerman into the offensive zone. When the puck ended up on a Colorado stick, Duchesne couldn't get back, leaving Chris Chelios all alone to defend a three-man rush.
It was no contest.
Drury scored his third goal of the playoffs, backhanding a shot from the slot past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood off nice passes from Peter Forsberg and Adam Deadmarsh.
''It's pretty exciting,'' Drury said. ''It was like a dream come true to score a goal like that.''
Jon Klemm and Dave Andreychuk also scored for the Avs, who return home for Friday's Game 5 of the best-of-seven series. A sixth game, if needed, would be Sunday in Detroit.
''I think we've got to look at the next game like a Game 7,'' Drury said. ''We don't want to come back here. We want to finish them off.''
Vyacheslav Kozlov and Tomas Holmstrom scored for the Red Wings who have been eliminated from the playoffs the last three times they have fallen behind 2-0. Colorado won the opening two games of the series at home.
Only once has Detroit coach Scotty Bowman guided a team through a 2-0 deficit to win a series. That was in 1992 when he coached Pittsburgh past Washington.
''You just go in and think of the next game,'' Bowman said. ''You can't think beyond the next game. It's not like we're getting whipped or there's a big edge either way. We're capable of winning the next game. That's how I look at it.''
The Avs didn't appear to miss star defenseman Ray Bourque, who sprained his left knee Monday night and sat out this game.
Maple Leafs 3, Devils 2
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Don't write off the Toronto Maple Leafs, not the way Curtis Joseph is playing in goal.
Tomas Kaberle scored on a slap shot with 1:35 to play and Joseph turned in another great game making 34 saves as the Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-2.
''They have been getting a lot of shots in this series and he has been battling,'' Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin said of Joseph. ''He makes the key saves and motivates us. There is no doubt he is the key to this team.''
Jonas Hoglund and Darcy Tucker also scored as the Maple Leafs rebounded from a 5-1 embarrassment on Monday and a demoralizing tying goal by Claude Lemieux late in the third period to tie the best-of-seven series.
''We had a lot to prove as a team and we responded well,'' said Joseph, who stole the opening game of this series making 32 saves in a 2-1 win.
Scott Gomez, set up by Lemieux, had the other goal for New Jersey, which lost for only the second time in eight postseason games.
''They played their best game of the series,'' Devils center Bobby Holik said. ''We had the opportunity to get ahead of them and we didn't do it. They're a talented team and we gave them life.''
Kaberle's first goal of the playoffs actually was the CPR for the Leafs, and it came on his second good chance in the closing minutes. His backhander from the left circle was stopped and Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer tried to clear the puck. It came back to Kaberle and his shot from above the circle beat Martin Brodeur.
''It was a little wobbly,'' Brodeur said. ''It was hard to say but I think it hit off someone and got inside the post. It's a tough way to lose. We had a lot of chances.''
Lemieux tied it with 5:46 to go on a somewhat fluky goal. Joseph could not control Lemieux's slap shot on a 2-on-1 break and the puck fell at the goalie's feet. As Lemieux went to poke it in Joseph accidentally kicked it in.
''I saw his eyes light up and he was going to jab it, so I thought I would just go into a butterfly and stop his stick, but unfortunately it went off my heel,'' Joseph said.
The Devils had a flurry of good chances right after the goal but Joseph either stopped every one or his defense deflected the pucks away.
''Cujo made a huge difference,'' Brodeur said. ''We had a lot of chances against him and he made some key saves. He's the reason this series is tied.''
The win returned the home-ice advantage to Toronto in what is now a best-of-three series.
''We're a lot more confident now than we were after Game 3,'' Sundin said. ''Certainly we showed we can play with the Devils and beat them, and in their building as well, and I think we can play better.''
Toronto entered the third period with a 2-1 lead with all the goals coming in the first period.
Tucker, who scored the game winner in Game 1, almost had a second. The Maple Leafs did a great job of keeping the puck in the Devils zone. Igor Korolev won a battle along the left boards with Alexander Mogilny and Sergei Berezin got the loose puck in the circle. He skated toward Brodeur and sent a cross-ice pass that Tucker let go through his legs before taking the puck and backhanding it just over Brodeur's glove as he lay in the crease at 16:02.
Hoglund tied made it 1-1, taking advantage of a rare lapse in the Devils' defense and a big hole between Brodeur's pads. Steve Thomas and Sundin made quick passes that allowed Hoglund to split defensemen Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski, and he ripped a rolling puck through the five-hole.
Toronto was a little shaky coming into the game, and the start didn't bode well for them.
Having lost the last two, the Maple Leafs fell behind 1-0 less than two minutes in.
Tucker picked up a foolish penalty for cross-checking John Madden 31 seconds after the opening faceoff. Gomez, whose game has picked up since being nearly benched in Game 2, capitalized for the Devils at 1:41, putting the rebound of Lemieux's shot into an open net after Joseph could not control the shot from the right point.
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