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Determined Red Wings Rally to Defeat Roy, Avalanche, 4-2

NHL playoffs: Yzerman scores winning goal as Detroit overcomes 2-0 deficit to even series with victory at Denver.

May 18, 1997|From Associated Press

DENVER — The Detroit Red Wings outworked and outplayed the Colorado Avalanche for the second consecutive game, and this time they were rewarded.

Steve Yzerman and Darren McCarty scored goals in the final four minutes, rallying the Red Wings to a 4-2 victory Saturday night and squaring the Western Conference finals, 1-1.

Detroit dominated the defending Stanley Cup champions but had to rally from a 2-0 deficit.

The Red Wings, who outshot Colorado, 35-19, in the series opener but lost, 2-1, again enjoyed a huge advantage, outshooting the Avalanche, 40-17.

Still, the Red Wings trailed by two goals in the second period before Igor Larionov got the first Detroit score. Sergei Fedorov tied it early in the third.

Larionov's power-play goal deflected in off Colorado defenseman Adam Foote.

"After that goal, luck started to go our way," Detroit Coach Scotty Bowman said. "It was a fortunate play for us, and it seemed to spark our team."

Yzerman scored his 44th playoff goal, banking a shot off goalie Patrick Roy's pads from behind the net to break a 2-2 tie at 16:00.

"I just tried to throw it out in front of him," Yzerman said. "Even if it doesn't go in, there's a chance that we might get a rebound."

After defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom made a stick save to rob Colorado's Eric Lacroix on a shot at an unguarded net moments later, McCarty scored on a breakaway at 18:43.

The series shifts to Detroit for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Thursday.

Yzerman's go-ahead goal, his fourth of the playoffs, came after he shot from the left circle. The rebound came behind the net, and from there Yzerman squeezed a shot between Roy and the goalpost.

Bowman said he wasn't worried about the 2-0 deficit.

"We were playing pretty well," he said. "We weren't discouraged. I thought we just had to push harder. After the second period, I told our team we were starting to worry the other team, so just keep working, keep playing hard."

Colorado Coach Marc Crawford said the Avalanche, which had won its 11 previous home playoff games, "played awful. We played as individuals. When you do that, teams that play a strong puck-possession game and move the puck as well as the Red Wings do, they beat you."

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