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Late-night Blues scene a hit

St. Louis gets back in series by topping Avs in double OT

Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- Getting to Patrick Roy gave the St. Louis Blues new life in the Western Conference finals.

Scott Young scored 10:27 into the second overtime for the desperate Blues, who pelted Roy with 60 shots and beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 Wednesday night.

Young's shot beat Roy just inside the left post as the Blues, 3-0 in overtime in this year's playoffs, cut their deficit in the Western Conference finals to 2-1. Roy, dominant throughout the postseason, gave up two tying goals in the third period to keep the Blues out of a big hole in the series.

''We just have to believe it's eventually going to go in the net,'' Young said. ''I just tried to get it off quick.''

The Avalanche weren't blaming Roy.

''I think his performances are speaking by themselves,'' coach Bob Hartley said. ''Patrick is strong and he's giving us a chance to win every game. Tonight, we almost took advantage of it again.''

Scott Mellanby and Jamal Mayers erased deficits, and Alexander Khavanov also scored for the Blues, who had three goals in the first two games of the series at Denver. The Blues, who had trailed 2-1 and 3-2 in the third, can even the series in Game 4 Friday night in St. Louis.

Young, who had a career-best 40 goals in the regular season, scored his sixth of the playoffs on the game-winner. He took a pass from Pierre Turgeon near the blue line and skated alone into the slot, beating Roy with a wrist shot.

The goal ended the longest overtime of this year's playoffs, topping the Blues' win in Game 3 of their second-round series against Dallas by 61 seconds.

Entering this Game 3, Roy had allowed six goals in six games. He was under intense pressure, facing 40 shots in regulation and 20 more in the extra periods. One of the shots, a slap shot to the gut by Al MacInnis with 1:56 to go in regulation, took his breath away.

The Blues overcame a shaky outing from goalie Roman Turek, who gave up three goals on only 16 shots in regulation. Turek handed the Avalanche their second goal when he fumbled the puck to Dan Hinote. He then gave Colorado an empty net at 4:40 of the first overtime after bobbling a Chris Drury drive, but managed to get his stick on a Stephane Yelle backhander that hit the goal post.

''I think he overcame a tough start,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. ''He made that big save in overtime and he had several saves after that. He got the win and he's going to get better from that.''

Yelle said the missed opportunity will be hard to forget.

''I had a wide-open net, and all I had to do was lift the puck up a couple of inches,'' Yelle said. ''I'll be thinking about it the next couple of days.''

Ray Bourque and Eric Messier also scored for Colorado, which had 33 shots. Messier's goal on a 2-on-1 break with Shjon Podein gave the Avalanche a 3-2 lead with 7:20 to play.

Mayers, a fourth-line forward who scored a career-best eight goals in the regular season, forced overtime when he deflected Chris Pronger's shot past Roy with 5:43 left in regulation.

Mellanby tied it at 2 with the Blues' first even-strength goal of the series. He carried the puck into the offensive zone off a feed from Mike Eastwood, faked a forehand and whipped a backhander around Roy at 10:13 of the third.

The Blues scored two power-play goals in Game 2 and scored shorthanded in Game 1.

St. Louis outshot the Avalanche 9-4 in the first period, yet trailed 2-1 due to Turek's weak start.

Khavanov's third goal of the playoffs, an easy tap-in after Roy stopped Pavol Demitra's wrist shot, came on a power play and put St. Louis ahead for the first time in the series at 5:54.

The Avalanche, outshot 8-0 at the start, scored the first time they tested Turek. Just 1:02 after Colorado fell behind, Bourque scored his second goal of the postseason on a power-play drive from the point between Turek's pads.

Hinote had an empty net on the Avalanche's third shot at 8:36 of the first after Turek misplayed the puck on a dump-in by Dave Reid, which was officially credited as his first save. Turek came out of the net but couldn't decide whether to glove the puck, dive on it or swat it away. He did none of the above.

Part of the sellout crowd cheered sarcastically the next time Turek successfully handled the puck, on a Blues power play.

The Blues also dominated play most of the second period, with a 10-1 shot advantage at one point and 15-8 overall. But the best chance of the period was by Colorado's Joe Sakic, who hit the post on a 2-on-1 break in the final minute.

Notes: Demitra, scoreless in the first two games, had two assists for the Blues. ... The Blues' Cory Stillman took a puck off the bridge of his nose on a MacInnis clearing effort at 1:45 of the second and immediately left for repairs. He returned with about eight minutes gone. ... Bourque has 176 career playoff points, tied for eighth on the NHL list with Jean Beliveau. He had been tied with Denis Savard. ... The Blues are 1-11 when trailing a series 2-0, with the lone triumph in 1972, and have been swept six times. ... The Avalanche is 8-1 in the playoffs when they score a power-play goal. ... NHL commissioner Gary Bettman attended the game. ... The Avalanche fell to 4-2 on the road in the playoffs. ... Colorado has played at least one overtime game in 15 of the last 17 series. The Avalanche are 1-3 this year in playoff overtimes.



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