Hasek Saves Sabres From Senators, 2-1
Wednesday, April 21, 1999; 10:14 p.m. EDT KANATA, Ontario Dominik Hasek's 40 saves lifted the Buffalo Sabres to a series-opening 2-1 playoff victory over the Ottawa Senators tonight.
Michael Peca scored in the first period and Curtis Brown in the second for the Sabres, who were outshot 41-15 but leaned on Hasek's acrobatics and made the most of their rare chances on shaky Ottawa starter Ron Tugnutt.
Wade Redden scored for the Senators, the series favorites who are looking to avenge a first-round loss in seven games to Buffalo in 1997.
The Sabres lead the best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarter-final 1-0 with Game 2 set for Friday night in Ottawa.
A chanting, sellout crowd of 18,500 waving white towels handed out at the door greeted the Senators, but from the outset it appeared that Ottawa's worst nightmare being shut down by two-time league most valuable player Hasek might be realized.
Hasek made some big saves early while the Sabres scored on their second shot on goal.
Peca partially fanned on the backhand on Vaclav Varada's pass in the slot and the puck rolled past a startled Tugnutt for a 1-0 Buffalo lead at 4:32.
Ottawa outshot the Sabres 16-4 in the period and tied it on a power play at 14:46 when Nelson Emerson slipped the puck along the blue line to Redden, who stepped into the high slot and drilled it inside the right post.
In the second period, Bruce Gardiner was off for slashing when, after a point shot by Alexei Zhitnik went wide, Peca slipped the puck to Brown all alone in front of Tugnutt. Brown's high shot from in close gave Buffalo the winner 11:24 into the second.
The Senators lost a good chance to tie it in the opening minute of the third when Bonk batted a rebound toward an open net, only to see the puck hit Peca's skates.
Midway through the period, Hasek reached behind with his stick to rob Alexei Yashin at the goal post.
The Senators went 1-9 on the power play, including 0-for-5 in the second period when they wasted a two-man advantage for 1:42.
© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press