Patrick Roy's 'A' Game

The first meeting of the season for what is arguably the biggest rivalry in the Western Conference went down as a loss for the Red Wings, as they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena.

The Avalanche opened the scoring only thirty-two seconds into the game. Milan Hejduk fished the puck loose from a struggle in the low left corner, then carried it out front and flipped it past Dominik Hasek. Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay received the assists on the goal.

Colorado used the momentum from such an early goal to continue dominating the play. They took a two-goal lead on the power play, when Jiri Fischer was in the penalty box for tripping. Marty Skoula passed the puck up to rookie Radim Vrbata, who one-timed a shot past Hasek.

The Red Wings were not prepared to give up so early, especially to Colorado, and Steve Yzerman began to lead his team in applying offensive pressure, taking four shots against Patrick Roy among the Wings' total of thirteen for the period. Even so, it was Sergei Fedorov who got Detroit on the board with 11:42 left in the first. Brendan Shanahan left the pass, and Fedorov carried the puck right across the crease and fooled Roy with a quick backhand shot.

The Avalanche had three power play chances in the second period, but Detroit's penalty killing was very well-organized and kept the puck in Colorado's zone through most of their short-handed play. However, Colorado did score the only goal of the second at even strength. Steve Reinprecht was able to pick up the rebound from Vrbata's shot and slide it past Hasek, who was being screened by Chris Drury.

In the third period, Colorado accepted their lead and switched focus from offense to defense to keep the Red Wings from bringing the puck into their zone. Despite two well-organized power play opportunities on Detroit's part, Roy was able to turn each shot aside and keep the Wings from scoring again.

Rob Blake clinched the win for the Avalanche with only 3:30 left in the game. Sakic passed cross-ice to Blake as he skated up the right wing side, and Blake was able to fire the puck between Hasek and the goalpost.

Hasek stopped only fourteen of the eighteen shots he faced. Roy was able to stop twenty-nine of the thirty the Red Wings put up against him.

Hasek stopped only fourteen of the eighteen shots he faced. Roy was able to stop twenty-nine of the thirty the Red Wings put up against him.

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