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Red Wings 5, Blues 2

May 15, 1998

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The Detroit Red Wings are once again proving to be a formidable obstacle to the St. Louis Blues’ playoff aspirations.

The Red Wings are a game away from finishing off the Blues for the third straight year in the playoffs. Detroit squandered a two-goal lead, but got it back for good on two goals and an assist by Sergei Fedorov in the third period for a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues and a 3-1 series lead Thursday night.

Brendan Shanahan and Joe Kocur added goals for Detroit and Kris Draper had two assists. The Red Wings, who won Game 3 3-2 in double overtime, swept the two games in St. Louis. They can end the series in Game 5 at home on Sunday.

It took the Red Wings six games to eliminate the Blues in the first round last season and seven games two years ago in the second round.

Special teams hurt the Blues, who were 0-for-6 on the power play and gave up a shorthanded goal. Another blah game from Brett Hull, who has one goal and only 13 shots in the series, also hurt.

Hull, who can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, was booed near the end of what could be his final home game in St. Louis.

The Blues, once down 2-0, tied it with 6.4 seconds left in the second period when Pierre Turgeon scored on a 3-on-2 break. Turgeon faked Chris Osgood out of position with a backhand move and then got his fourth goal of the playoffs on a shot to the wide side.

It didn’t take the Red Wings long to answer on Slava Kozlov’s third goal of the playoffs at 1:12 of the third. Fedorov set up the play with a pass to Tomas Holmstrom while sitting on the ice and surrounded by two Blues players, and Kozlov scored on a quick shot.

Fedorov, who stands to get a $12 million bonus if Detroit makes it to the conference finals, got loose for a shorthanded goal _ his seventh of the playoffs _ to make it 4-2 at 8:05 of the third.

Fedorov tacked on an empty net goal with 45.2 seconds to go for his eighth of the playoffs, matching his total from last year’s Stanley Cup run.

A sellout crowd of 20,681, the largest of the season at the Kiel Center, tried to rattle Osgood by chanting his name from the opening faceoff. But the Blues’ only consistent pressure came in the second period, when they scored twice and nearly had a third goal.

Shanahan, the former Blues star who got the game-winner in the second overtime in Game 3, started the scoring in Game 4 with an improbable power-play goal. Shanahan was almost even with the end line when he somehow rifled a shot past Grant Fuhr at 9:20 of the first period.

Kocur emerged from the penalty box after being sent off for high-sticking and skated in alone on Fuhr, scoring his third goal of the playoffs at 54 seconds of the second to put Detroit up 2-0.

The Blues answered 22 seconds later when Jim Campbell shoveled the rebound of his own shot past Osgood for his sixth goal of the playoffs. The Blues nearly scored at the 16-minute mark when Craig Conroy’s backhander deflected off Pavol Demitra’s stick, Osgood’s helmet and the goal post.

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