Red Wings pile it on Avs late, win 5-3 for series lead

Sunday, May 19, 2002

DETROIT -- On a team bursting at the seams with stars, a gritty grinder stole the show.

Darren McCarty scored three goals in the third period as the Detroit Red Wings beat Colorado 5-3 Saturday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

McCarty began the game with no goals and just three assists in the playoffs after scoring just five goals during the regular season, but such meager numbers are rendered insignificant in Hockeytown, which will always adore the winger for his charisma and his series-winning goal in the 1997 Stanley Cup.

McCarty put the Red Wings ahead 3-2 -- giving them their first lead -- early in the third. Then he gave Detroit a two-goal cushion midway through the period and padded the lead with 4:05 left. He was then showered with hats.

Detroit, which has won nine of its last 10 games, will play host to the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche again in Game 2 on Monday.

Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek, who is 5-0 in his last five games at home, stopped 24 shots. Patrick Roy made 25 saves in the much-anticipated meeting of two of the game's best goalies.

HURRICANES VS. MAPLE LEAFS: Fighting a lingering head cold, Toronto coach Pat Quinn watched in street clothes as his team practiced. He's not so sure he liked what he saw heading into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"I watched them practice and it's pretty light, it's pretty cocky," said Quinn, whose Maple Leafs lead Carolina 1-0 in the best-of-seven series. "I was sitting there saying, 'Oh gee, we don't need that."

Quinn was asked if his team might be confident, not cocky.

"There is a lovely difference there. I can't really articulate what it is," Quinn said. "I know it when I see it."

Game 2 is today.-- From wire reports

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