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Detroit extends lead over Avalanche

2/5/2002

DENVER (AP) -- They threw slap shots, backhanders and rebounds at
Dominik Hasek, and even took a shot after the goalie lost his
stick.

But nothing got through in the third period, and Hasek's 13
saves in the period helped preserve the Detroit Red Wings' 3-1
victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.

Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby scored second-period goals, and
Nicklas Lidstrom scored into an empty net with two seconds left as
the Red Wings raised their NHL-best point total to 82.

After being outhustled and outshot 32-11 through two periods,
the Avalanche erupted in the third period. Still, they couldn't
solve Hasek, who made a save off a rebound shot by Joe Sakic, made
a pad save on a backhander by Rob Blake and, after losing his
stick, stopped Eric Messier from the slot.

"In the third period, they had some good shots," Hasek said.
"But we played well defensively. We played just the way we needed
to.

"We played great the first two periods. We outshot them, we
outskated them and we were completely better. It seemed like they
were not ready for tonight's game. They were very sluggish. Patrick
Roy kept them in the game."

Hasek finished with 23 saves, and Roy had 31.

Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said Colorado "had six scoring
chances in the third period, and they were good ones. Hasek has
played well with the lead most of the season. That's what you need.

"Our team has a lot of confidence in Dominik. We had a good
goalie in (Chris) Osgood, but this guy is experienced. He has been
one of the three better players in the league the last couple of
years."

Scott Parker had the lone goal for Colorado.

The Avalanche have lost their last three games -- all at home --
by a combined 14-7 score. It's the first time they've lost three
straight at home since Feb. 13-29, 2000, when they lost four in a
row.

Coach Bob Hartley refused to blame the All-Star break for his
team's lull.

"Everyone had a layoff," he said. "We are not sharp. Our
decision-making is not there. Our reactions are not there. We are
not supporting each other. Not to take anything away from the Red
Wings, but we are capable of much better than this.

"The first two periods, we were not skating well at all. We
were not on the puck and we were not generating anything. Plus, we
let a team like the Red Wings skate. We didn't give ourselves a
chance. We bounced back in the third period, but it was too late."

In one of the NHL's best rivalries, Detroit outshot Colorado
12-7 in a scoreless first period. Roy stopped Luc Robitaille on two
quick shots just right of the goal. Hasek made a save on Adam
Foote's long shot and Milan Hejduk's rebound attempt.

Play intensified in the second period, with three goals and two
fights. The Red Wings again outshot Colorado 20-4 and took a 2-1
lead.

The Avalanche went ahead 1-0 at 2:31 when Brad Larsen passed
from behind the net to Parker, who jammed in his first goal.

McCarty tied it at 7:07. Jesse Wallin's shot from the left point
rebounded in front, and McCarty flipped it over Roy. The assist was
Wallin's first career NHL point.

Another rebound goal in a short-handed situation put the Red
Wings in front. Colorado defenseman Martin Skoula turned the puck
over at mid-ice, setting up a breakaway by Kris Draper. Roy stopped
Draper's shot, but Maltby punched in the rebound at 18:21.

"Kris kind of did all the work," Maltby said. "He made a
great play in reading the pass across ice and picked it off. I was
trailing the play, hoping if it didn't go in that the rebound would
come my way. Basically, it came right to me."

Skoula credited Draper for showing "good instinct" but
admitted "it was a bad play by me. They got a break when the
rebound came right back to Maltby."

Referring to Hasek, Skoula said, "You don't get much from him
anyway. Whatever we shot, he found."

Game notes
Colorado wings Dan Hinote (heel) and Eric Messier (knee)
returned to the lineup after missing 11 and eight games,
respectively. Parker returned after missing the last game with a
sprained thumb and broken nose. ... Detroit's Steve Yzerman missed
his third straight game following right knee surgery. ... Milan
Hejduk, Colorado's leading goal scorer, played in his 300th career
game. ... The 20 shots allowed by the Avalanche in the second
period represented their season high for any period. ... The teams
split two previous games in Detroit.