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Colorado Avalanche 5, Detroit Red Wings 2 FINAL @NHLdotcom

DETROIT (AP) _ Life without Patrick Roy has not been too hard on the Colorado Avalanche.

David Aebischer made 28 saves to lift the Avalanche to a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Alex Tanguay scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period off a rebound, and Joe Sakic had a power-play goal midway through the third to put Colorado ahead 4-2.

Aebischer made two spectacular saves against Brett Hull in the third _ one just before Sakic's 23rd goal and another just after it.

On the first stop, he sprawled out several feet toward the right circle to get his stick on Hull's shot. On the other, Aebischer dove from the top of the crease to the left post and his stick deflected Hull's blast.

He said throwing his body and stick at the second shot was a desperate move to stop the puck.

``Luckily, it hit me,'' Aebischer said.

Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said it was the biggest save of the game.

``Brett had an open net,'' Lewis said.

Aebischer, drafted 161st overall in 1997 by Colorado, replaced Roy, who announced his retirement on May 28 after 19 record-setting seasons.

He is 25-11-7 this year _ with four shutouts. Aebischer started the season with 32 career victories.

``There is no one in the league playing better than David,'' Sakic said. ``Goaltending is the least of our worries.''

Colorado has lost just two games _ both in overtime, one to Detroit _ in their last 12 games.

The Avalanche moved four points ahead of Detroit in the Western Conference after earning a point in their 15th straight road game.

``We're just very confident on the road,'' Sakic said. ``We like playing at sea level. We can't breathe at home.''

Steve Yzerman and Jiri Fischer scored for the Red Wings, who saw a season-long six-game unbeaten streak end.

Detroit's Manny Legace made 25 saves in his first start since Curtis Joseph sprained his ankle. Joseph, who is expected to be out another week, was hurt in his first start after Dominik Hasek announced his season was over because of a groin injury.

``It's nothing different,'' Legace insisted. ``It doesn't matter if (Joseph) is on the bench, or in the stands.''

The Red Wings had killed 14 straight penalties before playing Colorado, which scored on two of six opportunities with an extra man. Detroit was 1-of-4 on the power play.

When the Red Wings won 3-2 in overtime on Feb. 5 at Colorado, they scored two power-play goals and stopped all five of the Avalanche's power plays.

``The first two games we've played, special teams have been the difference,'' Lewis said.

Teemu Selanne's power-play goal tied the game at 1 midway through the second period, after Yzerman scored his 16th goal in the first.

Fischer's goal, his first since the season opener, put the Red Wings ahead late in the second period. Karlis Skrastins tied the game at 2 with 27.8 seconds left in the second, a goal Legace said was deflating.

``Then they really took it to us in the third,'' Legace said.

After Tanguay and Sakic scored to give Colorado the cushion it needed, Peter Forsberg added an empty-net goal in the final minute for his 28th point in 17 games.

``It's always a big win when you beat Detroit,'' Sakic said.

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