Bruins Claw Back into Series
Monday, May 17, 1999; Page D5
BOSTON, May 16 On the brink of elimination after Dominik Hasek's Game 4 shutout, the Boston Bruins beat the Sabres goalie four times in 40 minutes today to win Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, 5-3.
"I think there was a little bit of the feeling [that] ... Dom is playing great, and Dom will win us the game. Let's have an easy one," said Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff, who pulled Hasek after two periods in which Buffalo was outshot by 26-11.
The Sabres, who lead the series 3-2, have a chance to clinch it in Game 6 Tuesday in Buffalo. In 18 attempts, the Bruins never have won a playoff series after trailing 3-1.
Buffalo mounted little offense in the first two periods, and on defense it was content to let Hasek cover after mistakes. One of Boston's goals was a screen shot, another the result of a two-on-none. Hasek made no excuses.
"I don't care if I was screened or whatever," said the two-time MVP and four-time Vezina Trophy winner who has led the NHL in save percentage the past six seasons. "Four goals in two periods is too much."
Boston's Byron Dafoe stopped 20 shots and protected a one-goal lead by turning away a slap shot by Geoff Sanderson with 1 minute 46 seconds remaining.
Only after Hasek was replaced by Dwayne Roloson at the start of the third period did Buffalo rally, with goals from Wayne Primeau and Joe Juneau making the score 4-3. But Jason Allison put the Bruins up, 5-3, with 43 seconds remaining.
The Sabres took a 1-0 lead when Joe Thornton was whistled for high-sticking 20 seconds into the first period. Seventeen seconds later, Curtis Brown beat Dafoe.
Buffalo had not lost a playoff game this season in which it scored the first goal. The Sabres nearly made it 2-0 midway through the first when Ray Bourque gave the puck away at Buffalo's blue line, sending Dixon Ward in alone.
But Ward shot wide and Sergei Samsonov fed Don Sweeney inside the opposite blue line. His slap shot eluded Hasek to end his 116-minute shutout streak. Samsonov gave Boston a 2-1 lead with his first goal in eight games 1:15 into the second period.
Mattias Timander scored his first career playoff goal at 10:19 of the second, an unassisted slap shot from the point that made Hasek look human just two days after he shut out the Bruins in Game 4.
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