Yzerman, Detroit Sting Colorado, 4-0
By John Mossman
DENVER – Steve Yzerman scored two goals and Bill Ranford gained his fourth career playoff shutout as the Detroit Red Wings beat Colorado 4-0 today to take a 2-0 series lead.
Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference semifinal are scheduled for Detroit on Tuesday and Thursday.
In a game featuring the sort of fierce hitting that has come to define this rivalry, the Red Wings stayed unbeaten in these playoffs. They registered their sixth straight playoff victory and 11th straight since last year's postseason.
Detroit, seeking a third consecutive Stanley Cup title, gave coach Scotty Bowman his 200th career playoff win – extending his NHL record.
Yzerman, the Red Wings' captain, scored in each of the first two periods, giving him eight goals in the playoffs to equal a career high. Nicklas Lidstrom and Wendel Clark added power-play goals in the final period.
Ranford, the 1990 NHL playoff MVP with Edmonton, started his second straight game in goal in place of the injured Chris Osgood, who is out with a sprained right knee. He 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.
Colorado goaltender Patrick Roy had 33 saves.
Yzerman, the beneficiary of crisp passing, put Detroit ahead at 6:11 of the first period. Brendan Shanahan passed from behind the goal to Sergei Fedorov in the left circle, and Fedorov fed Yzerman just right of the crease.
Yzerman scored again at 5:35 of the second period. After a faceoff in the Avalanche zone, Shanahan's pass from along the boards found Yzerman in the right circle.
In the third period, as Colorado continued to misfire on its power play, Detroit got two. With Tomas Holmstrom screening Roy, Lidstrom scored at 10:45.
Less than a minute later, Clark redirected a shot by Lidstrom at 11:23.
In what could be the final hockey game at McNichols Arena – which will be replaced by the new Pepsi Center next fall – the Avalanche went meekly, generating few serious scoring chances and again failing to get production from their third and fourth lines.
A power outage in Fox-TV's production truck interrupted that network's coverage of the game during the second period.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press