Dury's boyhood dreams come true.

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The Independent Online

Avalanche 3, Red Wings 2, OT

Growing up in Connecticut, playing hockey with his brothers on a frozen pond near their house, Chris Drury had fantasies of scoring the winning goal in overtime of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On Wednesday night, it happened.

Drury's goal at 10:21 of the extra period lifted Colorado to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings and gave the Avalanche a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.

"It's pretty exciting," Drury said. "It was like a dream come true to score a goal like that."

It was a crushing loss for the Red Wings, who are in danger of being eliminated from the Western Conference semifinals by Colorado for the second straight year. Last year, Detroit won the first two games on the road, but the Avs came back to win the next four.

This time, the Avs won the first two in Denver and can finish off Detroit in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series on their home ice Friday night. A sixth game, if needed, would be in Detroit on Sunday.

In the other NHL playoff game Wednesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 to tie the Eastern Conference semifinal series at two.

The Philadelphia Flyers can tie the other Eastern Conference series Thursday night by beating the Penguins in Game four at Pittsburgh.

The Red Wings have been eliminated from the playoffs the last three times they've fallen behind 2-0 in a series: in 1996 against Colorado (six games), in 1995 against New Jersey (four) and in 1992 against Chicago (four).

The last time Detroit fell behind 2-0 and rallied to win was in the first round of the 1992 playoffs against Minnesota, in seven games.

"You just go in and think of the next game," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. "You can't think beyond the next game. It's not like we're getting whipped or there's a big edge either way. We're capable of winning the next game. That's how I look at it."

Only once has a Bowman-coached team overcome a 2-0 deficit to win a series. That was in 1992 when he rallied Pittsburgh past Washington.

Drury scored his third goal of the playoffs, back-handing a shot from the slot past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood off nice passes from Peter Forsberg and Adam Deadmarsh. Detroit defenseman Steve Duchesne got caught out of position, leaving Chris Chelios alone to handle a three-man rush.

"They're a talented team and you've got to be careful," Duchesne said. "I wish I'd been more careful on that play."

Jon Klemm and Dave Andreychuk also scored for the Avs, who didn't appear to miss Ray Bourque. The star defenseman sat out with a sprained left knee.

Bourque, however, spoke to the team between the first and second periods.

"He just told us some things we could do better," Andreychuk said. "He told us to start skating. He gave us some confidence. He says a lot of the right things.

"It's not easy for Ray. He wants to be a part of this."

Vyacheslav Kozlov and Tomas Holmstrom scored for the Red Wings.

Klemm's first playoff goal gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 3:37 of the second, marking the third time in the series the Avs have scored first. Klemm, camped on the right side of the net, took a nice pass from Joe Sakic and snapped it between Osgood's legs.

Holmstrom, by far the Red Wings' best player Wednesday, tied it 1-1 at 9:47 of the second when he took a pass from Doug Brown at the right side of the Colorado goal and slid the puck between the pads of Roy, who extended his NHL record for playoff victories to 118.

Kozlov, on his 28th birthday, scored his second goal to give Detroit a 2-1 lead at 9:12 of the third period while Deadmarsh was off for high-sticking Pat Verbeek.

But the Avs tied it 2-2 with 4:27 remaining when Osgood, trying to clear Andreychuk's shot, scooped the puck into the net.

Detroit outshot the Avs 25-16 during the first three periods of the close-checking, heavy-hitting contest and 7-5 in overtime.

"We played the type of game we wanted to play," Chelios said. "We had a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes to play. Then, we got running around a little bit, and it cost us."

Maple Leafs 3, Devils 2

Tomas Kaberle scored on a slap shot with 1:35 to play and Curtis Joseph made 34 saves as Toronto beat New Jersey.

Jonas Hoglund and Darcy Tucker also scored as the Maple Leafs rebounded from a 5-1 embarrassment on Monday and a demoralizing tying goal by Claude Lemieux late in the third period to tie the best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Saturday night at Toronto.

Scott Gomez, set up by Lemieux, had the other goal for New Jersey, which lost for only the second time in eight postseason games.