Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, January 16th
Red Wings4Final
Game 2: Thursday, February 6th
Red Wings0
Game 3: Saturday, February 8th
Red Wings3Final
Game 4: Saturday, March 15th
Red Wings5

Red Wings 3

(27-17-2, 65 pts)

Avalanche 5

(23-14-5, 62 pts)

3:00 PM ET, February 8, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
DET 2 1 03
COL 2 0 35

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

T. Holmstrom (Red Wings - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Colorado improves to 6-0-2 in past eight games

DENVER (AP) -- Patrick Roy has made some amazing saves during a career that's sure to land him in the Hall of Fame.

 Patrick Roy

Never before had he put together a string like this one.

Roy stuffed Detroit on three straight shots and Radim Vrbata followed with the go-ahead goal with 7:08 left as the Colorado Avalanche extended their unbeaten string to eight games with a 5-3 victory over the Red Wings on Saturday.

"That's why he is the greatest," Colorado coach Tony Granato said of Roy. "You put him in a situation where he has got to make a key save for your team, and he makes it."

Colorado tied it 3-all on a goal by Adam Foote midway through the third, but Detroit soon came rushing back with a two-on-one.

Boyd Devereaux fired a shot from the right circle that Roy blocked with his body, then Igor Larionov tried to slip in the rebound. Roy stretched his leg to block that shot with the tip of his skate, then dived back just in time to poke away a shot by Brendan Shanahan with his stick.

"I don't recall having a situation like this in my career," said Roy, who stopped 31 shots. "It was desperation. I threw my leg as far as I could with my toe and then the rebound came to Shanahan, and I just put up my hand and it hit my stick. It was a great situation."

Roy allowed three goals for the first time in seven games, but remained unbeaten in that span (5-0-2). The Avalanche are 6-0-2 the past games, their longest streak since going 10 games without a defeat late in 2001.

Milan Hejduk had his first career hat trick for Colorado, which hasn't lost since a 4-2 setback to Detroit on Jan. 16.

The Red Wings haven't been able to get much going since that victory.

Brett Hull's bid to become the sixth NHL player with 700 goals has stalled with a seven-game drought, his longest of the season. He had three hard slap shots turned away by Roy in the first period and his only other shot got caught in traffic in the third.

The Red Wings lost for the first time this season when leading after two periods (19-1-4) and are 0-4-2-0 in their past six games.

"You're not going to win hockey games if you can't protect the lead," Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.

The second meeting in three days between the last two Stanley Cup champions was vastly different than the first.

The Avalanche beat Detroit 1-0 in a tight-checking game Thursday night, but the teams combined for four goals and 27 shots in the first period this time. There also was a playoff-type atmosphere to this game, with plenty of hard hitting and trash talking.

"Overall, it was a great game," said Colorado's Peter Forsberg, who had two assists. "There was a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of hitting and a lot of emotion."

Detroit led 3-2 when Shanahan scored 15 seconds into the second period, but Foote tied it 8:05 into the third with a hard slap shot through traffic from just inside the blue line.

Detroit goalie Curtis Joseph never saw the shot after he was bumped by Forsberg in the crease, then threw his stick and raised his arms in protest after the officials didn't call interference.

"You're supposed to be able to do your job and I was inside the crease," Joseph said. "If I'm outside the crease you might have an argument. But when you're in the crease, he can't bump into you, especially when the shot's coming. That's frustrating. It ruined a good game."

Vrbata scored the game-winner after a wraparound shot by Steven Reinprecht bounced off his skate, but he had to wait a little while to get it.

Joseph appeared to stop Vrbata's shot with his glove just before it crossed the goal line, and the teams kept playing when the officials didn't blow their whistles.

Forsberg called for a replay at the next stoppage and the officials allowed the goal -- 21 seconds later -- after watching a video replay.

"We knew well before the next whistle blew that we were going to ask for it," Granato said.

Hejduk opened the scoring 7:31 into the game, beating Joseph with a wrist shot after a no-look drop pass from Forsberg.

Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom followed with two goals in a span of 58 seconds, scoring the first on a power play with 9:38 left in the first after Luc Robitaille squeezed a pass between two defenders along the right boards.

Holmstrom's 13th of the season came on a rebound from a tough angle after Roy couldn't handle a shot by Patrick Boileau.

Hejduk tied it 2-all with 5:03 left in the period, slipping a shot over Joseph's left shoulder during a two-man advantage. He added an empty-net goal, his 28th of the season, with 55 seconds left in the game.

"Getting a hat trick means more coming against Detroit," Hejduk said.

Game notes
Colorado D Rob Blake played in his 800th career game. ... Detroit D Chris Chelios missed his seventh straight game with a leg injury. ... Colorado C Vaclav Nedorost played after missing the previous 15 games with a broken hand. ... Hejduk has 302 career points. ... Colorado had not allowed a first-period goal in the previous seven games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press