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Red Wings take Round 3 from Avs in OT

Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2002

DENVER -- Another unsung hero came through for the Detroit Red Wings.

Fredrik Olausson scored his first playoff goal in 10 years at 12:44 of overtime as the Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 Wednesday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

After relying on its marquee players in the first two rounds of the playoffs, Detroit's lesser-known players have come through against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Darren McCarty scored three straight goals in the third period of Game 1, a 5-3 Detroit victory, after scoring just five during the regular season. Kirk Maltby and Boyd Devereaux, who had one goal between them in the first two rounds, both scored for Detroit in Game 2.

''Colorado is playing great defense. They don't give you much room,'' Olausson said. ''Sometimes opportunities present themselves.''

Olausson took advantage of his, beating Patrick Roy from just inside the blue line on a shot that appeared to hit Colorado defenseman Martin Skoula in the leg.

Dominik Hasek, who made 20 saves, set up the goal by clearing a loose puck to Steve Yzerman at center ice. Yzerman found Olausson, who scored his first playoff goal since April 18, 1992, for Winnipeg against Vancouver.

''I don't think Patrick saw it when I shot it, and it might have surprised him a little bit,'' said Olausson, who has five career playoff goals.

Colorado struggled defensively and only made it to overtime because Roy stopped 40 shots.

The Avalanche played physical seven-game series against Los Angeles and San Jose in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but coach Bob Hartley became angered when asked if his team was tired.

''This is the worst excuse in the book,'' Hartley said. ''I don't even want to hear until the end of the playoffs the word fatigue. This is for losers. We didn't skate tonight.''

The series was touted as a showdown between the league's two best goalies, but it was far from that in the first two games as the teams combined for 15 goals.

Game 3 was more of what everyone expected, with Roy and Hasek trading spectacular saves.

Hasek faced 21 fewer shots than Roy (42-21), but was still solid after allowing seven goals in the first two games.

He made a skate save after Drury slipped up the middle of Detroit's defense early in the first, then stopped Milan Hejduk with his pads late in the second on a 2-on-1.

Hasek also fought off Hejduk to make a save on a hard shot by Rob Blake in the third, and made a kick save with just over a minute left after Sakic streaked down the right side.

He stopped five shots in overtime, including Riku Hahl and Joe Sakic on consecutive attempts from the left circle.

Roy, who kicked a puck into his own net in Game 2, stopped Brendan Shanahan on a one-timer from close range midway through the first period, then made a kick save on a redirected shot by Olausson in the second.

Roy also squeezed his pads around rebound attempt by Sergei Fedorov late in the second, and stopped another shot by Fedorov in the third despite being screened by two players.

He also made a tough kick save nine minutes into the overtime on a Fedorov shot, then stopped Kirk Maltby from close range after he slipped around Adam Foote a few minutes later.

Roy was feeling so good early that he gloved a shot from the left circle in the first period and held it up in the face of Tomas Holmstrom, who had a few words for him afterward.

''I think it's pretty clear that Patrick almost stole a game that we had no business being in,'' Hartley said. ''He gave us every chance possible to go home with a victory we didn't deserve.''



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