Bruins dominate Hasek, Sabres to force Game 6
Posted: Monday May 17, 1999 11:18 AM
BOSTON (AP) -- For one game, the Dominator became the dominated.
On the brink of elimination after Dominik Hasek's Game 4 shutout, the Boston Bruins beat the Sabres goalie four times in 40 minutes on Sunday 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 26-11.
"I was worried about one of their guys breaking their stick over Dom."
The Sabres lead three games to two with a chance to clinch the series in Game 6 Tuesday night in Buffalo. In 18 tries, the Bruins have never won a playoff series after falling behind 3-1.
The Sabres mounted little offense in the first two periods, and on defense they were content to let their MVP goalie clean up their mistakes. One of the goals against Hasek was a screen shot, and another was scored on a two-on-zero.
"You like to think he's going to stop those, but he can't," Ruff said. "We gambled and we lost on our gambles, and it hurt us."
But 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 for each of the past six years. "Four goals in two periods is too much."
Boston has a stellar goaltender of its own in Byron Dafoe, who led the league with 10 regular-season shutouts and was third, right behind Hasek, with a 1.99 goals-against average. He stopped 20 shots for Boston, protecting a one-goal lead by turning away a slap shot by Geoff Sanderson with 1:46 to play.
"This isn't about the goalies," said Bruins forward Jason Allison, who had a goal and an assist. "They cancel each other out."
Only after Hasek was replaced by Dwayne Roloson at the start of the third did Buffalo make it close, with goals from Wayne Primeau and Joe Juneau that cut it to 4-3. Jason Allison made it 5-3 with 43 seconds left in the game.
"Hasek played like a human," Bruins defenseman Kyle McLaren said. "You can beat him but you have to get 30 or 40 shots."
The Sabres had not lost a playoff game this year in which they scored the first goal. And they 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 all alone on Dafoe.
But Ward shot wide, and at the other end Sergei Samsonov fed Sweeney inside the blue line and he slapped it above Hasek's glove to end a 116-minute shutout streak. Samsonov gave Boston a 2-1 lead with his first goal in eight games 1:15 into the second.
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 on 24 shots in Game 4. Allison and Dmitri Khristich hooked up on a two-on-none to make it 4-1 at 13:34 of the second.
Buffalo made it 4-2 at 4:58 of the third when Erik Rasmussen made a nice move at the blue line and set up Primeau's goal. With 6:35 left in the game, Stu Barnes circled from behind the net and passed it across the crease to Juneau.
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