Roy Breaks Record: Avalanche 4, Capitals 3, OT

Wednesday, October 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Patrick Roy sensed the moment arrived, even before the dramatic overtime goal that gave the Colorado Avalanche goaltender his 448th career victory, more than any other goalie.

Not because he was riding an 8-0-2 unbeaten streak. Not because the Avalanche were in the midst of its best start in four seasons. And certainly not because Roy was eager to end his pursuit of Terry Sawchuk's record and get back to the business of backstopping Colorado to what he hopes will be another Stanley Cup.

Instead, Roy claimed it was another wasted chance by the winless and struggling Washington Capitals _ Jan Bulis' whack from the left post late in the third period _ that set the stage for Peter Forsberg's redirection of Ray Bourque's shot 2:37 into overtime that gave the Avalanche a 4-3 victory Tuesday night.

``When they had that chance with four seconds left to go in the game and the puck didn't go in_ because I didn't see it, to be honest with you, and the puck came out _ I thought maybe this was my night,'' Roy said.

The win came in Roy's 17th season and in his 847th career game; Sawchuk needed 971 games over 21 seasons to establish the previous record. It was the latest in a series of accolades that includes 48 shutouts, three Stanley Cups and three Vezina Trophies.

As Bulis' shot hopped harmlessly over Roy's stick, Avalanche coach Bob Hartley knew only one strategy was appropriate.

``Patrick came up big at the right time. After that, we took care of the rest,'' Hartley said. ``There was no doubt in my mind that we were going for the win in overtime. That was the greatest setup we could imagine and we had to make sure Patrick would get the credit.''

A cross-checking major against Washington's Richard Zednik outweighed an elbowing minor assessed to Colorado's Adam Foote and gave the Avalanche a three-minute power play with 3:19 left in overtime.

``We shouldn't have been in that situation,'' Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig said of the power play. ``It was a bit of a dumb penalty.''

Fifty-six seconds later, Borque ripped a slap shot that knuckled to the right, but Forsberg skated toward the right post and redirected the puck past Kolzig, touching off a wild celebration.

``I saw Ray taking the shot and I knew it was going wide,'' Roy said. ``But when Peter put his stick on it, I was glad to see the puck go in.''

Roy hopped on one skate, skipping, arms outstretched toward the blue line, where he was intercepted and mobbed by teammates rushing from the bench.

``We definitely didn't plan to be part of the ceremony tonight,'' said Washington's Peter Bondra, who scored twice. ``But it happens.''

After a video tribute, Roy skated back to the net and began trimming the twine, which is bound for the Hall of Fame.

``He is just unbelievable,'' Forsberg said. ``Every night, he gets everything in net and I think that's why he got this record.''

``Patrick Roy's passion to play is surpassed only by his passion to win,'' NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. ``This remarkable achievement is a testimony to his consistency, his durability, his pride, his skill, and perhaps most of all, his nightly determination to meet the highest standards of goaltending excellence _ his own.''

Roy, who made 27 saves, beat a Capitals club that is 0-4-2 in six games and had not led in any contest until Bondra made it 3-2 just 25 seconds into the third period.

The lead created by Bondra's power-play tally was short-lived. Less than three minutes later, Joe Sakic retaliated on the power play.

Washington got only two more shots the remainder of the third period and was outshot 5-0 in overtime. The inactivity didn't hinder Roy.

``Patrick Roy doesn't want to get scored on. ... His will to compete and his will to stop the puck are pretty unique,'' Hartley said.

Not bad for a guy who sounded surprised to have hung around the NHL this long, much less shatter one of the sport's most enduring records.

``At first, I was just dreaming about playing in the NHL when Montreal drafted me,'' said Roy, who accepted a congratulatory call from Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien during his postgame press conference.

``Then you hope to play in the NHL and when you're in the NHL, you dream to survive. It's been a great ride.''

Unaware that he would get Wednesday night off in Columbus, Roy joked about playing another 10 or 15 years. Regardless of how much longer he plays, his teammates know Roy's accomplishment is a special one.

``I don't think someone is going to break Patty's record,'' said Foote. ``It is something huge.''

Notes: Washington defenseman Brendan Witt injured his arm in the first period and didn't return after playing only two shifts. ... The game was delayed 20 seconds into the third period when the goal light behind Roy went on and couldn't be turned off. ... The Avalanche have the NHL's top road record since 1995-95 at 107-72-27. ... Hejduk has played in 170 straight games while teammate Chris Drury stretched his streak to 159 games. ... The Capitals didn't lead for the first 350:25 of the season.