Work in Sports
Hasek was torched for the second straight game as the Toronto Maple Leafs recorded their fourth consecutive home win over the Sabres, 5-2.
Buffalo has not won in Toronto in the regular season since October 31, 1998.
Toronto has won three straight games after an 0-4-1 slide and was not intimidated by "The Dominator." Tie Domi, Jonas Hoglund and Dimitri Yushkevich scored in a span of less than seven minutes in the first period. Mats Sundin added a goal midway through the second and Garry Valk tallied at 6:39 of the third for Toronto.
The checking line of Domi, Valk and rookie Kevyn Adams garnered the top three stars and drew penalties that led to power-play goals by Yushkevich and Sundin.
"We know what we need to do," Adams said. "We need to go out and bang and have a high-energy line, get the team going and create turnovers and be sound defensively. Tie had a great goal and Garry, (too). It's definitely nice to chip in."
Hasek finished with 24 saves and has allowed 11 goals the last two nights after going 4-0-3 in his return from a torn groin muscle that cost him 40 games.
Curtis Joseph also finished with 24 saves for the Maple Leafs but lost his shutout to the least likely of sources. At 3:06 of the third period, Buffalo enforcer Rob Ray broke a 155-game goalless drought by sweeping a loose puck through Joseph's pads.
"At this time of year it doesn't matter who scores the goals as long as you score enough to win a game," Ray said. "It's nice to score once in a while, but you're more than willing to trade it in for a win this time of year."
It was a milestone night for Toronto right wing Steve Thomas, who played his 1,000th game, and defenseman Gerald Diduck, who appeared in his 900th.
Domi was to Hasek's left when he took a pass from behind the net by Darcy Tucker and popped it over the goalie's pads 5:55 into the game for his third goal of the season.
Domi and Ray are noted pugilists who did not fight in this game, but the Toronto enforcer said it is no indication he and Ray will change their ways.
"That's a stupid question. I'm not gonna answer it," Domi said when asked if he would avoid fighting. "It's always good games against them. Tonight we were the better team."
Hoglund got his 25th goal 36 seconds later when he beat Hasek to the low right corner of the net with a wrist shot after Sundin won a faceoff in the left circle.
Yushkevich made it 3-0 just over six minutes later when his wrist shot from the right point deflected off a Buffalo player in front of the net and found its way through Hasek's pads. The goal originally was credited to Alyn McCauley, who provided a screen.
"We made some mistakes in the first period," Hasek admitted. "Once you get down 2-0, 3-0, I wouldn't say it's over, but it's tough to come back.
"Sometimes you feel great and have a good game and sometimes you don't feel so good and play unbelievable. I don't understand it myself."
Sundin was fallen on the ice when he poked in the puck from the front of the net at 9:57 of the second period to make it 4-0. He leads Toronto with 27 goals.
Valk was storming down the slot when he dove forward to redirect a centering pass from Domi just inside the right goalpost for his ninth goal and his second in as many nights.
Stu Barnes scored a meaningless power-play goal in the final minute as Buffalo fell to 2-11-3 on the second night of back-to-back games. The Sabres are 8-19-5 overall when playing on consecutive nights.