Three times, the Colorado Avalanche took a one-goal lead. Three times more, the Red Wings answered to tie. But in overtime, the Wings were not able to break the pattern and score first, and the Avalanche won 4-3 to tie the series at one game apiece.
As in Game One, the Avalanche opened the scoring on an early power play. Steve Duchesne was sitting in the box on an interference call. The Avalanche won the faceoff in Detroit’s zone, and Alex Tanguay got it away to Peter Forsberg open on the right wing side. Forsberg threw the puck towards the net, and Tanguay was on hand to redirect it past Dominik Hasek.
Detroit’s first goal came midway through the first period. Brett Hull passed from the left side out to Boyd Devereaux in the high slot. Devereaux wrestled the puck away from Adam Foote, spun around and fired it. The puck whistled by Foote and over Patrick Roy‘s right shoulder, right into the net.
The Red Wings came on strong in the second period. Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov, and Steve Yzerman, with Mathieu Dandenault and Steve Duchesne backing them up on defense, had some especially good chances and pressure in the Colorado zone. Even so, the Avalanche again got the first goal of the period. Martin Skoula took a shot from the blue line which bounced like a pinball off of several players before finally angling off the skate of Forsberg and into Hasek’s net.
Detroit answered shorthanded. Jiri Fischer had been sent off for roughing. The Wings cleared the puck down to Colorado’s end, and Roy came out of his net to clear it away. Kirk Maltby intercepted the clear and came in all alone. Roy backed up, but couldn’t really get set, and Maltby deked the puck behind Roy and in for the tying goal.
Greg DeVries regained the lead for the Avalanche just over five minutes into the third period. The puck went down behind Hasek’s net, and everyone went in after it?except for DeVries, trailing the play. Stephen Reinprecht got to the puck first and centered it for DeVries, who was able to wrist a shot past Hasek.
Reinprecht then cost his team a goal by taking an interference penalty near the end of an Avalanche power play. The resulting power play for the Red Wings was not a full two minutes, but it didn’t need to be. Nick Lidstrom deliberately shot the puck just wide of the net, and it bounced back in front of the goal line, where Roy hit it with the bottom of his skate and put it into his own net.
The Wings took control of the game for the rest of the third period, trying to gain their first lead of the game, but Roy made some key saves and the game went to overtime. Just over two minutes in, Chris Drury broke a scoring drought to give the Avalanche the win. Forsberg intercepted a bad clearing pass, leaving only Fischer back to defend Hasek. Forsberg’s shot rebounded to Reinprecht, who passed across the crease to Drury. Drury put the shot high into the top corner to end the game.
The Red Wings outshot the Avalanche, thirty-three to twenty-six. Both teams were one for five on power plays. Game Three of this intensifying Western Conference Final will be Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Jason Williams played again in place of Igor Larionov, still listed as day to day with a knee injury?. Steve Yzerman’s assist on Nick Lidstrom’s goal was his 100th career playoff assist.