Back in the pipes
Sabres score 3 goals in 2nd period, hold on to beat Leafs
Posted: Friday May 28, 1999 04:06 PM
The All-Star goalie, who had sat out the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals with an injured groin, made an emotional return Thursday night and stopped 24 shots. That was more than enough for his teammates, who rallied for a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and a 2-1 series lead.
"I felt pretty tired, I didn't practice the last couple of days," said Hasek, who made three huge stops in the third period with the Maple Leafs trailing by a goal. "My groin felt pretty good and there was no extra pain."
"To get Dom back between the pipes, you could just see the energy in the dressing room," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "It gave us a big lift."
And so did the return of Miroslav Satan, who started the three-goal, second-period flurry that won the game. After falling behind 1-0, Buffalo got goals from Satan, Joe Juneau and Stu Barnes just over seven minutes apart.
"I'm glad it worked out," said Satan, who had missed the previous nine games with an injured foot. "It was a great relief. I wanted to prove to everybody I can be an offensive force."
Satan's goal came at 3:07 and tied the game 1-1.
"We've always said from Game 1 that we're a good team when we're healthy," Ruff said. "And we're still a good team when we're not so healthy. When you're down a goal, you know Miro is sitting there."
The 5-foot-11 center, Buffalo's leading scorer in the playoffs but held without a shot in the first two games after playing a dozen games against three 6-4 centers, finally came alive.
Peca scooped up a loose puck at center ice, crossed the Toronto line and unleashed a hard drive that hit a stick in front of Joseph. The puck then ricocheted off the goalie's right skate out in front to the unguarded Juneau, and he flipped it into the empty net at 3:45.
"It's important anytime you can get guys back in the lineup," Peca said. "The depth is phenomenal right now. We didn't know what to expect."
It was his fourth power-play goal of the series, gave the Sabres at least one extra-man goal in all 13 of their playoff games, and turned Hasek into a cheerleader.
"They were a determined team tonight," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "They struck on that little giveaway, then the short-handed goal and the power-play goal and it was a different game.
"We didn't pursue as well as we would have liked. In all three games we haven't done what we planned to do. We're not pressuring them and we're not stopping them from getting to the net."
And again, as they did in losing the first game of the series to the Sabres and Dwayne Roloson, a goalie who had never started a Stanley Cup playoff game, the Maple Leafs wasted an opportunity to take a lead in the series.
"They played pretty physical and they played a good game," said Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph, who stopped 20 shots. "We're just going to have to dig down a little deeper and come out hard."
The penalty-marred third period ended in the final minute with 10 misconduct penalties handed out, five to each team.
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