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Colorado goalie stops 28

2/14/2004

DETROIT (AP) -- Life without Patrick Roy has not been too hard on
the Colorado Avalanche.

David Aebischer made 28 saves to lift the Avalanche to a 5-2 win
over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Alex Tanguay scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period
off a rebound and Joe Sakic had a power-play goal midway through
the third to put Colorado ahead 4-2.

Aebischer made two spectacular saves against Brett Hull in the
third -- one just before Sakic's 23rd goal and another just after
it.

On the first stop, he sprawled out several feet toward the right
circle to get his stick on Hull's shot. On the other, Aebischer
dove from the top of the crease to the left post and his stick
deflected Hull's blast.

He said throwing his body and stick at the second shot was a
desperate move to stop the puck.

"Luckily, it hit me," Aebischer said.

Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said it was the biggest save of the
game.

"Brett had an open net," Lewis said.

Aebischer, drafted 161st overall in 1997 by Colorado, replaced
Roy, who announced his retirement May 28 after 19 record-setting
seasons.

He is 25-11-7 this year -- with four shutouts. Aebischer started
the season with 32 career victories.

"There is no one in the league playing better than David,"
Sakic said. "Goaltending is the least of our worries.

Colorado has lost just two games -- both in overtime, one to
Detroit -- in their last 12 games.

The Avalanche moved four points ahead of Detroit in the Western
Conference after earning a point in their 15th straight road game.

"We're just very confident on the road," Sakic said. "We like
playing at sea level. We can't breathe at home."

Steve Yzerman and Jiri Fischer scored for the Red Wings, who saw
a season-long six-game unbeaten streak end.

Detroit's Manny Legace made 25 saves in his first start since
Curtis Joseph sprained his ankle. Joseph, who is expected to be out
another week, was hurt in his first start after Dominik Hasek
announced his season was over because of a groin injury.

"It's nothing different," Legace insisted. "It doesn't matter
if [Joseph] is on the bench or in the stands."

The Red Wings had killed 14 straight penalties before playing
Colorado, which scored on two of six opportunities with an extra
man. Detroit was 1-of-4 on the power play.

When the Red Wings won 3-2 in overtime on Feb. 5 at Colorado,
they scored two power-play goals and stopped all five of the
Avalanche's power plays.

"The first two games we've played, special teams have been the
difference," Lewis said.

Teemu Selanne's power-play goal tied the score at 1-all midway
through the second period, after Yzerman scored his 16th goal in
the first.

Fischer's goal, his first since the season opener, put the Red
Wings ahead late in the second period. Karlis Skrastins tied the
game at 2 with 27.8 seconds left in the second, a goal Legace said
was deflating.

"Then they really took it to us in the third," Legace said.

After Tanguay and Sakic scored to give Colorado the cushion it
needed, Peter Forsberg added an empty-net goal in the final minute
for his 28th point in 17 games.

"It's always a big win when you beat Detroit," Sakic said.

Game notes
Colorado's Rob Blake missed his third game with a broken
left leg. He is out indefinitely. ... The Red Wings hadn't lost
since Jan. 24 at Phoenix.