Buffalo goes up 3-0 on Ottawa but Satan bruises foot
Posted: Sunday April 25, 1999 11:29 PM
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Buffalo and Ottawa had battled to overtime in six of seven games this season. This time the Sabres had it easy.
Brian Holzinger scored twice and Dominik Hasek made 15 of his 31 stops in the third period as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators 3-0 Sunday to take control of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
The seventh-seeded Sabres, leading 3-0 in the best-of-7 series, go for a sweep of No. 2 Ottawa when the teams return to Buffalo's Marine Midland Arena for Game 4 on Tuesday night.
"I got the right bounces here tonight," said Holzinger, who broke out of a scoring slump that saw him get one goal in the last 30 games of the regular season and none in the first two playoff games.
"The series isn't over yet," said Senators center Alexei Yashin, who leads his team in frustration without a playoff point so far after scoring 44 goals during the season. "We have our last chance and we will come out hard."
Hasek, who faced a total of 88 shots in the first two games of the series, tied a team record for playoff shutouts with his fourth.The Sabres helped their goaltender in part by limiting their penalties to five in the game and only one in each of the first two periods. "For sure we played a much more disciplined game tonight," Hasek said.
Dixon Ward scored the first goal for Buffalo, which last year upset Philadelphia in five games and swept Montreal before losing to Washington in the conference finals.
"We played real smart," Ward said. "We worked hard and didn't make too many mistakes. Our defense played outstanding."
Ottawa will try to become the first team to win a Stanley Cup series after losing the first three games since the New York Islanders fought back against Pittsburgh in 1975. Only one other team has done it -- the 1942 Maple Leafs over Detroit. The Sabres and Senators had played 53 minutes of overtime this season, including a half hour of OT in Game 2 of the playoffs. This time the Sabres opened things up and outshot the Senators through two periods 20-16 while building a 3-0 lead.
High-scoring Senators center Alexei Yashin, playing with a Sabre constantly glued to him and harassed by a crowd that chanted "Yashin, Yashin, Yashin," was held to no points for the third straight game. He also was penalized twice.
"It's got to be frustrating for him not to contribute to his team offensively," said Sabres captain Michael Peca, one of the Sabres sent to shadow Yashin. "He's a guy who's capable of winning a game on his own."
"It's nothing new for me," Yashin said. "The puck's not going in the net. It happens sometimes."
Ward gathered in Michael Peca's pass from behind the net and flipped it through a screen past Damian Rhodes at 4:06 of the opening period.
The Senators' best scoring chance of the game came four minutes later when Andreas Johansson carried the puck into the Buffalo zone and fired a slap shot from the right circle that struck the post.
Holzinger, who hadn't scored a goal in 18 games, put Buffalo up 2-0 at 7:47 of the second period. James Patrick fed Holzinger, who spun away from defenseman Sami Salo at the bottom of the right circle and tucked the puck between Rhodes' pads.
"I just tried to get the puck on the net," Holzinger said. "It was one of those fluky things. When you get the puck on the net strange things happen."
With Jason York in the box, Holzinger added a power-play goal on a tip-in at 12:33 of the second for a 3-0 lead. Holzinger won a faceoff to Rhodes' right and fed Alexei Zhitnik, who slid the puck across to Jason Woolley for the shot from the top of the right circle.
"We didn't feel the game was over after the first period and we didn't feel it was over after the second," Rhodes said. "We have to accept our situation. We can't get down."
"Right now it's a moment of adversity, and we have to make sure we're on the same page and pull together," said Ottawa coach Jacques Martin.
Buffalo's top scorer, Miroslav Satan, sustained a bruised foot when he was struck by a shot in the second period. He was taken to the hospital for X-rays. Satan scored the tying and winning goals in Game 2.
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