Hasek, Ward Key Sabres to 3-2 Win Over Bruins
By Bill Porter
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Dixon Ward scored the winning goal midway through the third period and Dominik Hasek blanked Boston for the final 51 minutes as the Buffalo Sabres skated to a 3-2 playoff win over the Bruins on Wednesday night.
Rhett Warrener knocked in his own rebound to tie the game at 6:44 of the third period. Ward connected 2:54 later as the Sabres took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Vaclav Varada passed from the side of the net to Ward in the slot and he scored from short range.
Jason Woolley gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead on a power-play 97 seconds into the game. But Steve Heinze and Anson Carter scored for Boston in the next 11 minutes, while Joe Thornton assisted on both goals.
Boston's stingy defense held Buffalo without a shot for 21 minutes following the Sabres' first goal. All three Sabres shots in the first period came on their one power play. They nearly matched their team-record low of shots in a playoff period of two.
Buffalo managed just seven shots in the first two periods combined, but woke up and pressured the Bruins with 18 shots in the third.
Boston, meanwhile, went eight minutes without a shot in the third period and finished with just 21 shots at Hasek, the NHL's two-time MVP.
The teams exchanged verbal jabs through the media during their two days off after Sabres defenseman Alexei Zhitnik rammed into Bruins captain Ray Bourque from behind and knocked the Boston captain down in Buffalo's Game 2 victory.
The fans targeted Bourque with banners that read "Stick a fork in Ray Bork" and "Bourque is a Dourque."
The Sabres had used physical play to tie the series in Boston, but couldn't carry that success into the first two periods of Game 3. It wasn't until the third period that the Sabres got their forechecking going.
Bourque went off 10 seconds into the game for tripping Ward, and Woolley scored his second goal of the playoffs with 34 seconds left on the penalty. Boston goaltender Byron Dafoe gloved Michal Grosek's slap shot from inside the blue line, but couldn't clear it, and Woolley's backhander opened the scoring.
Heinze tapped in a feed from Carter with 13 seconds left on Hasek's obstruction penalty. Heinze's third playoff goal, on Boston's second shot of the game, made it 1-1 at 8:47.
Carter put Boston up 2-1 at 12:48, after Dave Ellett's slap shot struck and crumpled Hasek. With the Buffalo goaltender lying prone in front of the net, Thornton passed to Carter for the easy go-ahead goal.
Boos rained down on the Sabres when their second power play midway through the second period failed to produce a shot.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press