Roy has shown an ability throughout his unparalleled career to recover from bad playoff losses. But he will have four months to think about this one, as well as the Game 6 defeat that sent the Western Conference finals back to Detroit.
"We were up 3-2 going into Game 6. There's going to be a lot of time we're going to think about that," Roy said. "Game 7's are tough to win on the road. I don't think we necessarily lost tonight. Being unable to win more than one game at home was basically the difference in the series."
At the other end of the rink, Dominik Hasek stopped 19 shots for his second straight shutout and record-setting fifth of this year's playoffs. One of three key offseason acquisitions by the Red Wings, Hasek put himself four wins away from his elusive first Stanley Cup championship.
"For sure, it was a nice step to win Game 7 tonight, but it's far from over," Hasek said. "I just feel we made the next step to the goal. We still have to win four more games."
Tomas Holmstrom scored twice and Luc Robitaille broke out of a slump with a goal and two assists for Detroit, which ended Colorado's streak at four straight Game 7 victories. The first team in NHL history to play four consecutive seven-game series, the Avalanche were blitzed in the first period and went through the motions thereafter.
"When you get down 4-0, 5-0 to a real good team, it's hard to come back," Colorado right wing Mike Keane said. "The last couple periods, it was pond hockey."
"They scored right from the start of the game. It was one thing we didn't want to see because we knew they would generate lots of momentum," Colorado coach Bob Hartley said. "And tonight we simply ran out of gas."
A goal by Chris Drury with 7:10 left in the third period would have spoiled Hasek's shutout bid, but was disallowed when video replay officials ruled he steered it into the net with his skate.
In his first head-to-head postseason battle with Roy, Hasek did not allow a goal over the final 120 minutes of the series.
"I didn't have time to feel bad for him because I was so focused on my game," Hasek said. "It can happen to any goalie. He was always unbelievable in the playoffs, but it can happen to any goalie, even Patrick."
The Red Wings are back in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since winning their second straight championship in 1998. They will host the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday in Game 1.
Detroit grabbed the lead just 1:57 into the first period and never looked back. While falling to the ice in front of the net, Holmstrom got his stick on defenseman Steve Duchesne's blast from the blue line and deflected it past Roy's glove.
Only 80 seconds later, Sergei Fedorov's slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle tipped off the stick of Avalanche defenseman Rob Blake, then fluttered off the inside of Roy's blocker and into the net. It was the Red Wings' second goal on as many shots.
At 10:25, Robitaille got away from defenseman Bryan Muir, got a pass from Igor Larionov low in the left circle and put a wrist shot between Roy's pads.
"You never know with that type of team because they have so many guys who can score goals," Robitaille said. "When you get a 3-0 lead with Dom in the net, we had them where we wanted them."
Holmstrom struck again 2 1/2 minutes later, flicking a rebound of Robitaille's shot past Roy for his seventh playoff goal.
"There were two tips, deflections. It's tough to start a game on two deflections," Hartley said. "And when you leave guys like Robitaille and many of those Red Wings players alone in front of the net, they're going to make you pay. That's exactly what happened. It was a tough night for all of us."