Belfour loses big

1998 Playoffs

NHL teams

It was business as usual at the Joe Louis Arena when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars, 5-3, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals. Since Oct. 1995 the Stars are 1-14-2 at Detroit.

Dallas almost pulled off the biggest comeback of the playoffs. Detroit took an early 4-0 lead and appeared to be cruising to a victory when Dallas fought back with three straight goals, one in the second period and two in the third.

"You get caught up watching the scoreboard," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. "We dodged a bullet tonight. That's how I feel, and I'm sure that's how the team will feel."

The turning point of the game came with four minutes left in the third period when Dallas was pressing hard for an equalizer. Ed Belfour appeared to have cleared the puck when Martin Lapointe skated by and Belfour dove down trying to draw a penalty.

Referee Gregson didn't call anything on the play as Vyacheslav Kozlov stopped the puck before the blue line and passed it to Lapointe who scored while Belfour scrambled to get back to the net. That made it 5-3 and broke the Stars' back.

"That was a relief," Lapointe said. "We can't play like that. We let up, and it cost us. We were lucky tonight."

Dallas outshot the Red Wings 34-20 and Detroit can thank their fast first period for the victory and 2-1 lead in the series.

"Down 4-0 is a tough lead to come back on, especially against a team like this," Dallas forward Mike Modano said. "But we finally started playing in the third period like we need to be playing all the time."

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