Red Wings force Game 7

Shanahan is the man

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2002

DENVER -- Brendan Shanahan said he didn't sleep well after missing an open net in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

He made sure that wasn't a problem after Game 6.

Shanahan broke out of his scoring slump with a goal in the first period, and Dominik Hasek stopped 24 shots as the Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 Wednesday night to force a Game 7.

''You tell yourself good things when you're getting close and hitting posts, but it's still very frustrating,'' Shanahan said. ''I personally wanted to have a big night, but I don't think it was a night of personal gains.''

Detroit broke a four-game losing streak in elimination games dating to a victory over St. Louis in the 1996 conference semifinals.

Colorado will have to play a Game 7 for the fourth straight series -- extending its own league record -- and for the fifth time in its last six series.

The Avalanche have won four straight Game 7s, including victories over Los Angeles and San Jose this year.

Game 7 is Friday night in Detroit.

''We are not happy going back to Detroit,'' Colorado goalie Patrick Roy said. ''It is a big challenge, but it's been like this for us all year. We have a hard time making it easy on ourselves.''

The Red Wings rallied from eight one-goal deficits in the first five games, but didn't need any comebacks this time.

Shanahan, criticized for his lack of production in the series, opened the scoring with 38 seconds left in the first period on a shot that Roy thought he stopped.

Roy raised his glove, thinking he caught Shanahan's shot from the slot, but the puck hit the ice and trickled into the net. Roy briefly tried to argue the call, then bent over and covered his mask with both gloves in frustration.

''I didn't know if I had it in my glove,'' said Roy, who stopped 26 shots. ''I held my glove up looking for the puck and it rolled back.''

It was Shanahan's fifth goal of the playoffs, but his first since Game 4 against St. Louis in the second round. He hit a post with two minutes left in regulation in Game 5, which Colorado won 2-1 in overtime.

It was also the first time Detroit scored the first goal in the series and the Red Wings' first lead in regulation since the third period of Game 1.

''Sometimes when you get the lead you sit back, and I was glad we didn't,'' Detroit coach Scott Bowman said.

Darren McCarty made it 2-0 with 6:33 left in the second after a Colorado turnover in Detroit's zone.

Colorado was trying to set up near the right circle, but Peter Forsberg couldn't reach a back pass by Martin Skoula. McCarty beat Roy stickside with a slap shot from the left faceoff dot after keeping the puck on a 3-on-1 break.

It was McCarty's first goal since scoring three straight in the third period of Game 1.

''I thought 1-0, we were all right, but 2-0 was a different game for them,'' Colorado's Chris Drury said. ''They could sit back a little more.''

Hasek, who allowed goals at critical moments in the previous two games, was spectacular at times in earning his fourth shutout of the playoffs this year and 10th of his career.

He turned away a flip shot by Milan Hejduk on a power play in the second period, then sprawled out to stop Hejduk from close range a few minutes later.

Hasek also made a skate save on a hard shot by Joe Sakic during a power play in the third, and a sliding stop on Steven Reinprecht a few seconds later.

''They had their chances, but Dom came up big when he needed to,'' Detroit's Chris Chelios said.

Colorado raised the ire of the Red Wings in the second period by asking the officials to check the width of Hasek's stick.

Hasek reluctantly agreed to hand over his stick, then made repeated motions to get it back after the officials ruled it to be within the 4 1/2-inch limit.

The move resulted in a bench penalty against Colorado and wiped out 1:23 of a power play.

''We had information that Hasek was playing with an illegal stick and down 2-0 with 1:20 on the power play, we thought the timing was right,'' Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. ''Sometimes in games you try some things that work. Unfortunately for us, that one didn't.''

Colorado, already thin on the front lines due to injuries, lost forward Stephane Yelle to a sprained neck midway through the second period.

Injuries to Mike Keane (ribs), Alex Tanguay (leg) and Dan Hinote (leg) forced Colorado to move defenseman Pascal Trepanier to forward.

Notes: Roy has faced 130 shots in the past three games. ... McCarty leads the Red Wings with four goals in the series. ... Trepanier played just his second game of the playoffs. ... Colorado has failed to score on its last 13 power plays. ... Detroit's Brett Hull was injured early in the second when he hit the backboards after tangling with Rob Blake, but later returned.

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