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

2/8/2003

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

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.

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