DENVER -- On one end of the ice, Patrick Roy is making critical saves. On the other end, Roman Turek is simply becoming a critic.
Roy stopped 28 shots, and the Colorado Avalanche got three goals from unlikely offensive sources as they took control of the Western Conference finals with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.
''They scored three goals but they were pretty lucky goals,'' said Turek, who faced only 15 shots. ''We had two nice goals, but they scored three lucky goals and they won.''
Turek, who had been steady in the first two playoff rounds, vented his frustration after defensemen Ray Bourque and Adam Foote scored on long slap shots and Shjon Podein burned him with a nice move to complete a 3-on-2 in the third period.
Podein's goal with 6:39 remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Avalanche took a 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 in St. Louis on Wednesday night.
''Being up by two games really puts the pressure on the Blues right now,'' Colorado captain Joe Sakic said. ''We all know what happened the last two years in Dallas, so we don't really have to talk too much about it. We knew how important this game was.''
The Avalanche won Game 1 of the conference finals each of the past two years only to lose Game 2, and ultimately the series, to the Dallas Stars.
Since moving from Quebec to Colorado in 1995, the Avalanche have won all eight series after taking a 2-0 lead.
''I know that being down 2-0 is a tough hole,'' St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said. ''But we go home and get some momentum back. We need to get a win under our belt.''
Roy has prevented the Blues from getting any momentum. He has allowed just six goals in the last six games, making the most difficult saves look easy.
''I'm impressed, very impressed,'' Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. ''It seems that he's playing with a tracking device out there.''
After Podein's goal gave Colorado a 3-1 lead, St. Louis took advantage of a power play when Al MacInnis blasted a long slap shot just inside the left post 2:31 later.
The Blues maintained the pressure, but saw their chances diminish when Pierre Turgeon took a slashing penalty with 1:38 to play. Foote elbowed Turgeon seconds earlier.
''I tried to hold back,'' Turgeon said. ''I turned around and he hit me cold. They called it the other way.''
St. Louis made one final rush after pulling Turek in the final minute, but Chris Drury iced the victory when he scored into an empty net with 7.3 seconds remaining.
Drury also had an assist, and Bourque finished with a goal and an assist. Bourque, six victories away from his first Stanley Cup in a 22-season career, had not scored a goal in the first 12 games. Foote and Podein scored for just the second time in the playoffs.
''I finally got one through and scored,'' said Bourque, who scored four seconds into a power play in the first period. ''It's been a while.''
Content to let the Blues play catch-up for the second straight game, Colorado went 8:22 without a shot in the third period but got a big goal when Podein converted on a 3-on-2 rush with Drury for his second goal of the playoffs.
The Blues, who have not led in the series, had several good chances to tie it earlier, but Roy either made the save or got a fortuitous bounce. Pavol Demitra hit the left post midway through the period.
''We spot them a goal every game, and it is tough getting back because you are skating uphill all the time,'' St. Louis defenseman Chris Pronger said. ''When you give a team like that the lead, it is tough playing against them because they just sit back.''
Despite being outshot 10-5 in the final 20 minutes and 30-20 for the game, Colorado continued to score in bunches. The Avalanche have 13 goals in three games since being shut out for nearly 183 minutes in the conference semifinals by Los Angeles.
St. Louis fell behind for the second straight game, but tied it 1-1 when Scott Mellanby scored on a power play 8:27 into the second. Roy had no chance on the play as Mellanby camped in front of the goal and redirected a shot from MacInnis.
The Avalanche regained the lead with 1:56 left in the period when Foote beat Turek from the left point. The low-flying shot hit St. Louis defenseman Bryce Salvador in the leg, changing direction just enough to fool Turek.
Roy preserved the lead in the final seconds when Mellanby made another nice deflection on a pass from Pronger. Because Roy is playing so well, the Blues made an effort to get traffic in front of him whenever possible.
Notes: Colorado C Peter Forsberg was released from the hospital Monday, four days after emergency surgery to remove his spleen. ... Bourque recorded his 175th point in the playoffs, moving into a tie with Denis Savard for ninth on the career list. He also tied Paul Coffey with 137 assists, third on the NHL list. ... St. Louis is 3-10-2 in Colorado since the Avalanche moved from Quebec in 1995. ... Colorado is 7-0 when scoring first and when leading after two periods. ... St. Louis does not have an even-strength goal. The Blues scored short-handed in Game 1. ... Avalanche F Milan Hejduk had two assists and leads all playoff scorers with six goals and 12 assists. ... Colorado F Stephane Yelle did not play in the third period because of a bruised shoulder. He will be evaluated Tuesday.
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