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Detroit Red Wings 3, Colorado Avalanche 2 FINAL OT @NHLdotcom

DENVER (AP) _ Boos and debris rained down on the ice. This wasn't the ending Colorado's fans wanted in a matchup of the NHL's two best teams and biggest rivals.

The Avalanche weren't too excited about it, either.

Brett Hull scored 57 seconds into overtime after two Colorado players were hit with penalties at the end of regulation, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Avalanche on Thursday night.

``It was a good game all the way,'' Colorado's Steve Konowalchuk said. ``It's unfortunate it had to end that way.''

Detroit had a two-man advantage to start overtime after Konowalchuk and Adam Foote were called for simultaneous four-minute high-sticking penalties in the final 1.6 seconds.

Normally NHL overtimes are played 4-on-4, but in this case the Red Wings were given a 5-on-3 edge to begin the period.

The crowd booed throughout the overtime and started throwing bottles and cups on the ice after Hull's hard shot from the top of the right circle went in over David Aebischer's right shoulder.

``They may have been a little misfortunate to go 5-on-3 in overtime, but we've got a couple of guys bleeding in here to warrant it,'' said Detroit's Ray Whitney, who scored his 200th career goal in the second period.

Low-scoring Mathieu Dandenault also had a goal, and Curtis Joseph stopped 29 shots for Detroit, 5-2-4 its last 11 games.

Teemu Selanne and Alex Tanguay scored for Colorado, 5-0-2-2 in its last nine.

The Avalanche and Red Wings have won five of the past eight Stanley Cup titles and met in the playoffs three times in five years.

They've also been two of the league's best teams most of this season; Colorado entered with a league-leading 72 points and Detroit was tied for second just two behind.

Meeting for the first time so late in the season only added to the buildup.

The crowd was into it right away, buzzing during the national anthem and starting the derogatory chants with the first drop of the puck.

The Wings and Avs gave them plenty to cheer about with the kind of wide-open scoring chances and dazzling moves that looked more like a prelude to this weekend's All-Star game than a regular-season match.

``This was an exciting game between two highly-skilled teams, going end to end,'' Avalanche coach Tony Granato said. ``You saw great saves and great plays, and some great goals. It was an exciting game.''

Selanne got things started just 1:34 in, flipping a backhander through traffic past Joseph after gloving Nicklas Lidstrom's weak pass in Detroit's zone.

The roar from Selanne's 13th goal was still going strong when Tanguay broke down the left side, deked Joseph to the ice with a fake and flipped in a shot off the right post just 18 seconds later.

``We created a lot offensively,'' Granato said. ``We did a good job of moving the puck around and creating the chances.''

But Detroit came right back, working around the perimeter on a power play until Whitney beat Aebischer between the pads from the top of the circles.

Dandenault tied it in the second period, lifting a backhander that slipped under Aebischer's armpit on the stick side.

``It's a credit to everyone in here,'' Joseph said. ``We battled back, battled back. I thought we got our legs and played better as the game went on.''

And it wouldn't be Wings-Avs if there wasn't plenty of chippiness.

Colorado's Peter Worrell started things off by chasing Steve Yzerman to Detroit's bench before being sent to the penalty box. Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom followed with a shoulder check that sent Peter Forsberg to the ice for another penalty.

Another collision in front of Detroit's goal led to a scrum of pushing and shoving.

And that was just the first period.

``It was an entertaining game,'' Whitney said. ``The fans got a pretty good show out there.''

Joseph made sure of that, rebounding from the two quick goals with some spectacular saves.

He stopped Milan Hejduk on consecutive shots on a power play in the first period, then made a pad save on a hard shot by Rob Blake and covered the rebound on the top of the net. In the third period, Joseph dived back across the crease to block a shot by Konowalchuk.

``They threw a lot of things at him. Curtis was very solid,'' Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.

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