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Detroit sinks into 2-0 hole

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 13, 2003

DETROIT -- The Red Wings are in playoff trouble -- again.

The Mighty Ducks' Stanislav Chistov, Jason Krog and Steve Thomas scored, and Anaheim rallied to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions 3-2 Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.

Last season, before Detroit won its third title in six seasons, it dropped the first two games of the first round at home to Vancouver before winning four straight to advance.

"Just because we did it last year doesn't mean we're going to do it this year," Brendan Shanahan said. "But we've got that experience to draw on."

Game 3 is Monday night in Anaheim.

If the Red Wings win four of five against the Ducks, they will be the third team to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series in consecutive seasons. The Islanders did it during the 1975 and 1976 playoffs, and the Penguins pulled off the feat in 1991 and 1992.

Anaheim players were still in their sweat-drenched uniforms by the time they were reminded of how Detroit rallied in the same situation last season.

"Even though we're up two games, I have so much respect for that team," said Thomas, who scored the winning goal with 4:14 left. "It's important to keep composure and to stay on an even keel right now."

While Hockeytown is stunned, the Mighty Ducks are not. They don't even think they've played well.

"I don't know why we haven't played like we can play," Anaheim coach Mike Babcock said. "It's like we're so cautious, we're so worried about them instead of skating and playing the game."

Detroit was ahead 2-1 in the second period and appeared set to tie the series, but Krog tied the score with 6:26 left and Thomas scored 2:12 later.

When Thomas' slap shot from the left circle beat Curtis Joseph -- who made 20 saves -- the sold-out crowd fell into stunned silence.

"There's no question in my mind that he is not going to sleep tonight," Thomas said.

AVALANCHE 3, WILD 2: Brian Willsie is wild about Minnesota and, in particular, goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

Willsie scored his first goal of the season and first career playoff goal, and Patrick Roy made 24 saves for host Colorado.

The best-of-seven series is tied at one and shifts to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday.

Of Willsie's eight career goals, five have come off Roloson.

"I don't really know why," Willsie said. "I've been fortunate against him."

Willsie scored at 5:49 of the third after Dan Hinote won a faceoff in the right circle. Hinote skated toward the goal, took Rob Blake's pass and made a blind pass back to Willsie in the slot.

Willsie's goal gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead, but Andrew Brunette made it close on a power-play goal with 35.6 seconds left.

SENATORS 3, ISLANDERS 0: Marian Hossa scored twice, Patrick Lalime got his fifth career playoff shutout and top-seeded Ottawa evened the series at one.

Vaclav Varada also scored for the host Senators, who were winless in nine games as the higher seed in a playoff series after New York's stunning 3-0 victory in Wednesday's opener.

Game 3 is Monday night on Long Island.

Ottawa reversed the results of Game 1, in which the Islanders took a two-goal lead in the first. The Senators responded with goals from Hossa and Varada 1:41 apart that gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead 8:24 into the game.

Hossa, who scored 45 goals during the season to break New York center Alexei Yashin's record with the Senators, got his second goal on a five-on-three at 14:25 of the second to make it 3-0.

Lalime made 16 saves and was rarely tested as Ottawa outshot the Islanders 34-16. He had four shutouts in last season's playoffs.

CANUCKS 2, BLUES 1: Trent Klatt and Ed Jovanovski scored power-play goals and Dan Cloutier made 26 saves as host Vancouver recovered from a 6-0 Game 1 loss.

Pavol Demitra scored a power-play goal with 54.1 seconds left and goalie Chris Osgood on the bench. But St. Louis couldn't put the tying goal past Cloutier, who stopped 11 shots in the third.

Vancouver was given the first three power plays and nine overall. Klatt converted on the first 3:33 in. He got a piece of Sami Salo's wrist shot from the point, ending a 160-minute goal drought.

Vancouver converted its eighth power play when Jovanovski walked out of the corner and beat Osgood from just above the goal line with 1:06 left in the second.

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