May 14, 2002
Avalanche 2, Sharks 1, OT
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Just like his players, Colorado Avalanche coach Bob Hartley didn't feel the real earthquake that shook San Jose.
"I felt the earthquake when we scored," Hartley said after the Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in overtime Monday night.
Peter Forsberg's goal 2:47 into the extra period evened the series and sent this Western Conference semifinal back to Denver for a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday night.
With nine minutes left in the third period, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 rattled the Compaq Center. The quake was centered south of San Jose in Gilroy.
The sellout crowd of 17,496 was unruffled, apparently more interested in the tight game on the ice, and play continued uninterrupted.
"I didn't feel anything," Colorado forward Milan Hejduk said. "This building is pretty loud and it is shaking anyway."
The defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche were on the verge of elimination by the Sharks, who have never been to the Western Conference finals.
Forsberg took a pass from Joe Sakic and beat Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov from in front of the crease. It was Forsberg's sixth goal of the playoffs.
In Monday night's other game, Carolina routed Montreal 8-2 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. The Hurricanes will play the winner of the Toronto-Ottawa series, which is tied 3-3 with Game 7 on Tuesday night in Toronto.
Patrick Roy, who has struggled during the series, stopped 21 San Jose shots. He has allowed a surprising 18 goals overall by the Sharks.
Since 1996, Roy has rebounded well after allowing five or more goals in a playoff game. He's 9-0 with three shutouts, and the Avalanche have outscored opponents 45-8.
"Patrick was absolutely dominant in net tonight," Hartley said. "Patrick is our energy. Every time he steps in front of our net, we feel we have a chance to win."
Nabokov stopped 27 shots.
Colorado dropped Game 5 in Denver on Saturday, when the Sharks scored three times in the final 20 minutes for a 5-3 victory and a chance to eliminate the Avalanche on home ice.
But the Avalanche have been through this before. In the Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils last year, Colorado lost Game 5 at home to trail 3-2 in the series. The Avalanche rebounded with a shutout of the Devils before winning the Stanley Cup at home.
After some of the wild, high-scoring playoff games between the Avalanche and the Sharks, Game 6 stood out because of defense.
The Sharks did their best to target Sakic, who had three goals in the last two games and 10 points against San Jose overall. Nabokov deftly deflected Sakic's hard shot from the right circle with just under four minutes left in the first.
With less than six minutes to go in the second, San Jose defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson looked surprised when his hard shot from the left circle got past Roy. It was Ragnarsson's first goal in 40 playoff appearances.
But 24 seconds later, Steven Reinprecht took the puck, circled the net and beat Nabokov to make it 1-1.
The earthquake, which shook the rafters of the arena, was also felt at the game between the Giants and the Atlanta Braves in San Francisco. There were no injuries or significant damage reported.
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