Hasek misses Game 1 with groin injury
Posted: Sunday May 23, 1999 07:24 PM
TORONTO (AP) -- Goaltender Dominik Hasek was on his way back to Buffalo for treatment of an injured groin after he missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday.
The injury flared after practice Saturday, and the goalie removed himself from the lineup before the opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, won by Buffalo 5-4. Backup goalie Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves.
Hasek didn't know if he would be able to start Tuesday's Game 2 of the best-of-7 series. His status is day-to-day, the team said.
The injury sidelined Hasek for 12 games in February and March. He reinjured it in the playoffs against Boston, but started all six games of that series.
Hasek wanted to see how he felt after a night's sleep Saturday. But his condition did not sufficiently improve and he was not on the ice for the pregame warmup Sunday.
"For sure I knew this morning that it was impossible to play well," said Hasek, who ranked third among playoff goalies with a 1.77 goals-against average going into Sunday's game.
Hasek had won three of five games against the Maple Leafs during the regular season.
The defending two-time league MVP set career bests for goals-against average and save percentage during the regular season.
"I didn't pay attention in warmup as to who was in net," Maple Leafs defenseman Dimitri Yushkevich said. "I was surprised that [Roloson] was in net and got a little excited. Anybody except Hasek is good for us."
Roloson took a walk with a couple of teammates before the game to quiet his nerves. Martin Biron was recalled from the AHL farm club in Rochester, N.Y., to be the backup.
"Rollie had to make a lot of great saves," said Sabres center Stu Barnes. "He doesn't get a lot of attention, but he's a real good goalie. Having him in there didn't change the way we played at all."
"We were told last night that Rollie would start and we were very excited for Rollie," Sabres forward Dixon Ward said. "He deserves the opportunity to play. It's always tough for a backup goalie playing behind Hasek. We had a winning record in the 12 games with Rollie when Dominik was out, we knew he would be ready."
Hasek had not missed a start since April 14.
Hasek, the defending two-time league MVP, set career bests for goals-against average and save percentage during the regular season. Hasek had won three of five games against the Maple Leafs during the regular season.
"You can't worry about injuries," Curtis Brown said. "It just gives other guys a chance to get in there and play. It's tough when you lose a guy like Dom, but we also have a lot of confidence in Roloson."
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