Steve Yzerman has had better birthdays than on Sunday, which he celebrated by twice lighting up goalie Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche in the Detroit Red Wings' 4-0 victory in Game 2 of a Western Conference semifinal series at Denver.
"But I don't tell you what happened," Yzerman, 34, teased of birthdays past. "It wasn't with a bunch of sports reporters."
Scotty Bowman has had plenty of playoff victories, and his 200th, which came in the win that gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead over the Avalanche, didn't move him.
"I knew if we won six games this year, I'd feel very good," said Bowman, who entered this year's playoffs with 194 wins. "If not, I'd feel very bad. Somebody reminded me before the playoffs, but that's the only time I've thought about it. I worry more about the 111 losses."
The more marked reaction came from Avalanche defenseman Aaron Miller.
"We are in trouble," he said. "We're not getting to the net. We got outworked and we took stupid penalties."
Yzerman, the Red Wing captain, scored in each of the first two periods. Nicklas Lidstrom and Wendel Clark added power-play goals in the final period.
Bill Ranford, the 1990 NHL playoff MVP with the Edmonton Oilers and a trade-deadline acquisition by Detroit, started his second consecutive game in place of the injured Chris Osgood. Ranford had 28 saves, preserving his shutout with a diving save to rob Peter Forsberg late in the first period and with back-to-back stops on Theo Fleury and Sylvain Lefebvre in the third.
Detroit isn't resting on its laurels.
"By no means can we relax," Yzerman said. "They could get back into this one if we aren't careful. Remember, the Avalanche has a great road record, better than at home."
Colorado is 1-4 at home in the playoffs this season but 3-0 on the road. Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Thursday at Detroit.
Buffalo 3, Boston 1--Dominik Hasek stopped 28 shots for the Sabres, who had goals from Michael Peca, Curtis Brown and Dixon Ward in tying the series, 1-1, with a victory at Boston.
Boston's players were upset when Alexei Zhitnik smacked Bruins captain Ray Bourque into the boards from behind late in the second period.
"It was a dirty hit. That's for sure," Bourque said.
Toronto 4, Pittsburgh 2--Mats Sundin scored twice and assisted on goals by Steve Thomas and Lonny Bohonos in the Maple Leaf victory at Toronto that tied the series, 1-1.