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Detroit shakes Blues

Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2002

DETROIT -- When nothing less than a Stanley Cup will do, the Detroit Red Wings figure there's no use celebrating along the way.

Brendan Shanahan had two goals and two assists and Dominik Hasek made 16 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs as the Red Wings eliminated St. Louis with a 4-0 victory Saturday in Game 5 of their second round series.

After the game, the Red Wings were businesslike -- not the least bit giddy -- despite reaching the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1998, the year they won their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

''I think we've got pretty good perspective,'' Shanahan said.

After failing to advance past the second round for three straight seasons, Detroit restocked its already talented roster last summer by trading for Hasek and signing free agents Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille.

Detroit will face the winner of the Colorado-San Jose series. The Red Wings have won eight of their last nine games.

''We had our best game of the playoffs,'' Detroit coach Scotty Bowman.

The Red Wings, who absorbed numerous checks by the Blues, had little interest in dragging out the series with a Game 6 in St. Louis.

''We wanted to win badly to not have to go back and wear out a lot of guys,'' Bowman said. ''And maybe not even win.''

Detroit eliminated the Blues from the playoffs for the fourth time since 1996.

''For a team that was desperate like we were, I didn't think we came out the way we wanted,'' St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk said. ''It almost seemed like they were down three games to one.''

Jiri Fischer and Tomas Holmstrom scored second-period goals and Shanahan sealed the victory with a goal with 3:03 left and then an empty-netter with 41.5 seconds left. Shanahan, who assisted on the second-period goals, has 103 postseason points.

A difficult challenge was made even tougher for the Blues when they lost defenseman Chris Pronger, their captain, to a season-ending knee injury in Game 4.

''It wasn't the same team,'' Hasek said. ''They really missed him.''

That fact didn't make the loss any easier to take for the Blues.

''We were confident in this room; we always thought we'd win this series,'' St. Louis' Jamal Mayers said. ''To lose like this is extremely disappointing.''

Goaltender Brent Johnson, who made 11 first-period saves and 26 overall, did his best to keep the Blues in the game. But his teammates weren't able to create many scoring chances against Detroit's stingy defense and when they did, Hasek gave them little hope.

Midway through the first period, Johnson turned away Hull's consecutive slap shots. Then late in the period, he stopped Kris Draper on a breakaway and turned away Steve Yzerman's shot.

St. Louis played for nearly eight minutes before getting a shot on Hasek, and it took nearly 11 minutes in the second to get their second shot of the period. They finished with just 16 shots.

The Red Wings made Hasek's job easier by blocking several shots before they even got to him. Kirk Maltby stopped two shots with his body while playing without a stick during a St. Louis power play in the second period.

Sharks 5, Avalanche 3

DENVER -- Mike Ricci and Teemu Selanne scored in a 3:05 span of the third period as San Jose rallied to beat Colorado to take a 3-2 lead in Western Conference semifinal series.

San Jose had lost six straight Game 5s before winning two this year. The Sharks closed out their first-round series against Phoenix with a 4-1 victory in Game 5.

Since 1995, the team that wins Game 5 has gone on to win the series 17 of 21 times. Game 6 of the best-of-7 series is Monday night in San Jose.

Colorado led 3-2 after the two teams combined for five goals in a 5:58 span of the second period, but Ricci tied it 5:59 into the third with his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Colorado goalie Patrick Roy stopped a redirected shot by Scott Thornton, but the puck bounced right to Ricci, who punched in the rebound from just outside the crease.

Selanne made it 4-3 at 9:04, beating Roy to the stick side from the top of the right circle. It was Selanne's fifth goal of the series after he went five games without one against Phoenix.

Owen Nolan added an empty-net goal with 2.5 seconds left.

Colorado was 34-0-1 during the regular season when leading after two periods, but has twice lost leads against the Sharks. San Jose scored three goals in the third period to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions 6-4 in Game 3.

After a slow start to the second period, the two teams went on a scoring flurry.

San Jose's Marco Sturm started it with 7:53 left on a one-timer from the left post after Vincent Damphousse circled around Adam Foote on the right side.

Peter Forsberg tied it 1:33 later, whirling around in the slot to beat Evgeni Nabokov between the pads on a delayed penalty. It was his fourth goal of the series and extended his points streak to six games.

Mike Keane put Colorado up 2-1 with 5:03 left after a redirected shot by Eric Messier bounced off his skate just inside the post.

Niklas Sundstrom tied it 41 seconds later by flipping the puck over a prone Roy, who had dived to swipe a loose puck just before it trickled over the goal line.

It was Sundstrom's first playoff goal since May 11, 1996, against Pittsburgh as a member of the New York Rangers.

Joe Sakic capped the scoring binge with his fourth goal of the series, banging a shot off the right post with 1:55 left after Greg de Vries one-touched a pass from Forsberg to the right circle.

Sakic has nine points in the series and a five-game points streak.

Nabokov allowed three or more goals for the fifth straight game, but was solid early and staved off a Colorado flurry late.



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