- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 12, 2002

DETROIT When nothing less than a Stanley Cup will do, the Detroit Red Wings figure there's no use celebrating along the way.
Brendan Shanahan had two goals and two assists and Dominik Hasek made 16 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs as the Red Wings eliminated St. Louis with a 4-0 victory yesterday in Game 5 of their second -round series.
After the game, the Red Wings were businesslike not the least bit giddy despite reaching the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1998, the year they won their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
"I think we've got pretty good perspective," Shanahan said.
After failing to advance past the second round for three straight seasons, Detroit restocked its already talented roster last summer by trading for Hasek and signing free agents Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille.
Detroit will face the winner of the Colorado-San Jose series. The Red Wings have won eight of their last nine games.
"We had our best game of the playoffs," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said.
The Red Wings, who absorbed numerous checks by the Blues, had little interest in dragging out the series with a Game 6 in St. Louis.
"We wanted to win badly to not have to go back and wear out a lot of guys," Bowman said. "And maybe not even win."
Detroit eliminated the Blues from the playoffs for the fourth time since 1996.
"For a team that was desperate like we were, I didn't think we came out the way we wanted," St. Louis' Keith Tkachuk said. "It almost seemed like they were down three games to one."
Jiri Fischer and Tomas Holmstrom scored second-period goals, and Shanahan sealed the victory with a goal with 3:03 left and then an empty-netter with 41.5 seconds left. Shanahan, who assisted on the second-period goals, has 103 postseason points.
A difficult challenge was made even tougher for the Blues when they lost defenseman Chris Pronger, their captain, to a season-ending knee injury in Game 4.
"It wasn't the same team," Hasek said. "They really missed him."
That fact didn't make the loss any easier to take for the Blues.
"We were confident in this room; we always thought we'd win this series," St. Louis' Jamal Mayers said. "To lose like this is extremely disappointing."
Goaltender Brent Johnson, who made 11 first-period saves and 26 overall, did his best to keep the Blues in the game. But his teammates weren't able to create many scoring chances against Detroit's stingy defense, and when they did, Hasek gave them little hope.
Midway through the first period, Johnson turned away Hull's consecutive slap shots. Then late in the period, he stopped Kris Draper on a breakaway and turned away Steve Yzerman's shot.
St. Louis played for nearly eight minutes before getting a shot on Hasek, and it took nearly 11 minutes in the second to get their second shot of the period.
The Red Wings made Hasek's job easier by blocking several shots before they even got to him. Kirk Maltby stopped two shots with his body while playing without a stick during a St. Louis power play in the second period.
Hasek's shutout was his second of the series and the ninth of his career.

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