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Extra workpays off big for Wings

RED WINGS 3, 'CANES 2 (3OT): Igor Larionov scores the winner, after Detroit prolongs the game with 1:14 left in regulation.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 9, 2002


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Loud (yawn), louder (yaaaawn), loudest (yaaaaaaawn).

If you like your hockey with ear plugs, the Entertainment and Sports Arena was the place to be Saturday night as it more than lived up to its billing as possessing the league's highest decibel level.

If you like a good night's sleep, well, you made the wrong choice.

The Red Wings defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final in triple overtime.

Igor Larionov's second goal of the game ended things at 1:17 this morning with 5:13 left in the period was; the 54:47 of overtime made it the third-longest game in final history.

It gave Detroit a 2-1 series lead and coach Scotty Bowman his 34th final victory, tying Toe Blake's record.

Larionov, 41, the series' oldest player, had not scored since April 27 in the first round against the Canucks.

Despite the game's length, it was anything but sleep inducing.

Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe kept his team alive with 3:20 left in the second overtime, diving to his right to make a glove save on Steve Yzerman, who was at the side of the net and got a perfect pass from Brendan Shanahan but couldn't lift the puck.

Shanahan had a chance with seven minutes left in the first overtime. But his shot, on the tail end of a two-on-one with Sergei Fedorov, hit the side of the net with Irbe diving to get back in position.

The third period was even more dramatic with end-to-end action, great saves by Irbe and Detroit's Dominik Hasek, and a goal by Brett Hull, whose team-high ninth of the playoffs with 1:14 left in regulation, tied it at 2 for the Wings.

Nicklas Lidstrom, whose shot from the blue line Hull deflected, hit the inside of the post on Irbe's stick side with 51 seconds left.

It was Detroit's third post: Yzerman in the first period, Steve Duchesne in the third. Fredrik Olausson hit the crossbar in the first overtime.

Jeff O'Neill's goal at 7:34 of the third period gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead and was made possible by a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Ron Francis, who hit O'Neill in stride as he crossed the Detroit blue line.

Carolina's Josef Vasicek scored in the first period. Larionov answered in the second.

Referees Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom made their presence felt early, giving the Red Wings three minutes, 47 seconds of power play time, including 13 seconds of five-on-three, in the first six minutes of the game. But the Red Wings did little with the chance.

The Red Wings did better shorthanded and almost scored at 14:20, but Yzerman's blast from the slot hit the post on Irbe's stick side.

Twenty-nine seconds later, Vasicek gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the series. (They won the first game in overtime.) Vasicek pushed the puck through the legs of Duchesne, got around the defenseman and beat Hasek, despite a check by Fedorov, at 14:49.

It was a frustrating period for the Red Wings, who were outshot 8-6, missed the net on six shots and saw Carolina block 10 others. The Hurricanes also had 11 takeaways.

"We couldn't have asked for anything more that period, especially with the time we spent in the box," Carolina defenseman Sean Hill said.

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