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Roy Gains Revenge As Avalanche Defeat Red Wings

May 20, 1996

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Red Wings tormented Patrick Roy all season. This time, he took some revenge.

``We came to Detroit with the objective of winning two games,″ Roy said after Colorado’s 3-2 overtime victory Sunday over the Red Wings. ``Right now, we’ve got one and we’ve got to keep going.″

Roy made 29 saves and Mike Keane scored with 2:29 left in overtime as Colorado took Game 1 of the best-of-7 Western Conference finals. Roy, who helped Montreal win two Stanley Cup titles, is 28-7 in overtime playoff games, 4-2 this season.

This playoff victory was especially sweet for Roy.

The Red Wings, who won an NHL-record 62 games this season, were 5-0 against Roy, 3-0 after he joined the Avalanche. They averaged 5.41 goals against Roy this season.

On Dec. 2, the Red Wings scored nine goals against Roy in an 11-1 rout of the Montreal Canadiens. Angered and embarrassed that coach Mario Tremblay left him in to face the onslaught, Roy vowed never to play another game for the Canadiens. Four days later, he was traded to Colorado.

He was in goal again March 2 for the first five goals when Detroit defeated the Avalanche 7-0.

Did the Avalanche ever consider starting somebody else in this series?

``No, we didn’t have any concerns at all,″ coach Marc Crawford said. ``We pay Patrick a lot of money and he is our goalie of record in all our games in the playoffs.″

Roy, in the third year of a four-year contract worth $16 million, was 13-3-1 against Detroit before this season. And his career playoff record now is a sparkling 79-46.

``We’d be foolish to look any further than him,″ Crawford said. ``He’s a proven playoff performer.″

Despite outstanding play by both Roy and Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood, this game will be remembered more for Paul Coffey’s monumental blunder. Coffey scored both of Detroit’s goals, but also inadvertently knocked one in cleanly for Colorado.

``I wouldn’t say it went in cleanly,″ Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. ``I would say maybe `dirty.′ When you lose position, it happens. Obviously, he didn’t want to get caught with the puck there.″

Coffey’s error, which tied the game 1-1, came 44 seconds into the second period.

Osgood moved over to cover Stephane Yelle, who was being pushed off to the left side of the net by Nicklas Lidstrom. Yelle slid the puck harmlessly across the empty Detroit crease.

But Coffey, trying to clear, mistakenly shot the puck into the open net. Coffey, who appeared somewhat sluggish despite his first-period goal, raised his head and closed his eyes in disgust.

Coffey dressed quickly and left without talking to reporters. His teammates defended him.

``He’s been doing a lot of good stuff, too,″ said Osgood, who made 27 saves. ``That goal had no bearing on the game whatsoever. We had plenty of chances to win.″

Most of the Colorado players agreed.

``I don’t know if it’s such a big mistake,″ Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux said. ``It’s positioning. If he had knocked it away, they’d have said he saved the goalie. We had the goalie beat there.″

Coffey’s power-play goal from just inside the blue line 6:00 into the first gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. After Coffey’s blunder, Colorado took the lead when a shot went in off Adam Deadmarsh 1:34 into the third. Coffey tied it 2-2 on a shorthanded goal at 5:33 of the third.

Osgood was screened by defenseman Mike Ramsey on Keane’s game-winner. He didn’t see the shot from just inside the blue line. The puck skittered between his pads and into the net.

``One good bounce,″ Detroit forward Doug Brown said. ``I thought we played real well in the overtime. But they came hard. Roy is a terrific goalie. His record stands for itself.″

Game 2 will be Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena. The series moves to Denver for the next two.

``Road games are very important,″ Roy said. ``Now, we’ve got the home-ice advantage. This shows that home-ice advantage doesn’t mean anything.″

The Red Wings played after the second period without Steve Yzerman. His injury was announced as a groin pull, an NHL catch-all for any injury that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

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