DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche were seeking redemption for
a lopsided loss in last year's conference finals.
What they got was another embarrassing moment at the hands of
their biggest rival.
Much like the conference finals last year, Colorado seemed to be
in control before falling apart in the end.
The Avalanche rallied from an early two-goal deficit, but wound
up losing their third straight to Detroit on a bad decision by
defenseman Adam Foote.
"When things aren't going well, when you do something it ends
up in your net," said Colorado coach Tony Granato, whose team has
lost four of five. "A fluke, a bounce, a call against you -- when
things are not going your way they are able to capitalize on
Colorado had already made a line change when Joe Sakic flipped a
pass back to Foote, who was being replaced by Greg de Vries.
Shanahan had a clear path to the goal, but Foote skated off,
thinking he would be called for a penalty if he touched the puck.
Shanahan then swooped in and beat Patrick Roy to the far post
with 7:18 left.
"I had a split second to make that decision," Foote said.
"When you see a guy coming down and you have two guys back, you've
got to assume that nothing like that is going to happen. If I take
the penalty, then they say you have to know better.
"It's one of those things where I'm right at the bench, I have
to come off. I wanted to touch it, but I couldn't."
Shanahan added an empty-net goal with 1:06 left, his 16th of the
season, as Detroit bounced back from a 4-1 loss to Chicago the
"These two teams battle, battle, battle right to the very end.
That is what it was," Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.
Both teams have new coaches and some of the players have changed
since last year, but the Red Wings and the Avalanche -- who have
combined to win five of the last seven Stanley Cups -- still have a
strong dislike for each other.
The Colorado crowd, uncharacteristically quiet this season,
seemed to perk up with the return of the hated Red Wings. The fans
booed Detroit's players during introductions and started a chant of
``Let's go Avalanche!'' in the first two minutes.
There was plenty of pushing and shoving between the players, and
Colorado's Serge Aubin, a newcomer to the rivalry, made his mark
by sending Sean Avery head-first into the boards in the second, and
it took nearly a minute for the players to leave the ice after a
skirmish at the end of the period.
"This game had a lot of buildup to it. It was a small task, but
a small task that we passed," said Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph,
who stopped 36 shots. "You could tell by the way the game was
played and by the intensity that it meant more than two points."
Colorado had a 38-23 advantage in shots, but it was Detroit that
Mathieu Dandenault made it 2-0 just 1:11 into the second,
skating up the left side and beating Roy to the stick side from the
circle. It was his first goal since March 30, 2002 against Atlanta.
Colorado's Peter Forsberg cut the lead to one with 5:23 left in
the second, skating from the right corner and squeezing a shot
between Joseph's pads.
Dan Hinote tied it at 2-all 4:02 into the third, punching in a
pass from Aubin before sliding into the goal on his back.
"The last half of that game I thought we really started playing
well," Sakic said.
Colorado LW Brad Larsen, who has played just six games this
season due to a herniated disc, will be out at least two more weeks
and might face season-ending surgery. ... Detroit's Brett Hull had
an assist, but is still two goals short of 700 for his career. ...
Roy is one game short of becoming the first goalie in NHL history
to play 1,000 games.