Ex-Detroit Red Wings' Darren Helm propels Colorado Avalanche into conference finals

Helm secured the Colorado Avalanche a spot in the Western Conference finals when he scored with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation Friday in Game 6 against the St. Louis Blues.

The Avs haven't been to the West finals since 2002, when they lost Game 7 to the Red Wings, 7-0, at Joe Louis Arena.

"We had three guys going hard to the net and I was just kind of trailing," Helm told reporters. "The pass bounced off the side wall, I just wanted to get the puck on the net, and it found its way.

The Avs won the game, 3-2, and the series, 4-2. They advance to play the Edmonton Oilers, pitting Helm against former Wings general manager Ken Holland, who was named Oilers GM in May 2019.

Helm signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Avalanche last summer, after the Wings let him know he would not be re-signed. Helm, 35, spent the better part of 14 seasons with the Wings, who drafted him at No. 132 in 2005.

Helm has a neat story to tell his kids about how he started in the NHL. He was called up late in the 2007-08 season, making his debut March 13.

Helm scored again in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. One game later, he celebrated the Wings' 11th Stanley Cup championship.