Mark Recchi's power-play goal broke a tie late in the second period and Roman Cechmanek stopped 25 shots as the Flyers stayed alive with a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game Five.
Facing elimination, Philadelphia got more physical, particularly with Hasek. With 12:40 left in the third period, Keith Primeau crashed the net, got tangled up with defenseman James Patrick and barreled into the All-Star goaltender.
"I knew he was coming," Hasek said. "I didn't even think about making a save at that point because he was coming at my knees. I was trying to protect myself."
"Who's got the bad knee here?" asked Primeau, who missed the first two games of the series with a sprained MCL. "I'm not going to be running at him. I go to the net hard, especially when Recchi carries the puck in the zone. No question, James hit me into Hasek. I knocked him over, but there was no harm done."
When no penalty was called, Hasek threw down his blocker in disgust, drawing a 10-minute misconduct.
"We were losing 3-1 at the time and I was trying to do something to create some momentum," he said. "If we were tied or down by one, I wouldn't have done that. We were down by two, that's why I threw my glove."
By then, however, the Flyers had a rare two-goal lead. They held on and got within three games to two in the best-of-seven series, which resumes Saturday afternoon in Buffalo.
"We've done it all year and none of the guys wanted to end the season," Recchi said. "It was our best game (of the series), but we still have a long way to go. We have to have the same effort from tonight on Saturday. If we can go in there, play the same game, it'll come down to a Game Seven."
"We are in great position," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "We said from the beginning it was going to be a long series. We are disappointed with the loss. They played extremely well, but now they have to come back in our building."
Sabres center Curtis Brown, who scored the overtime winner in Game Four, was penalized for high-sticking with 4:53 left in the second period and Recchi broke a 1-1 tie 55 seconds later.
Primeau passed into the high slot and Recchi fired a low slap shot that beat Hasek to the glove side and found room inside the right goalpost. It was Philadelphia's second power-play goal of the night after they had just two in the first four games of the series.
"We know they are the best penalty-killers out there and they do a terrific job. When you do get shots, they have Dom in net," Recchi said. "We just tried to get the puck on net. With Johnny (LeClair), Keith Primeau and (Rick) Tocchet in front of the net, it can make life a little tougher for Hasek. That's all we're trying to do right now."
"We made two crucial mistakes on the penalty-kill and we just gave them the second goal," Ruff said. "There was miscommunication between our defense and forwards."
The Flyers nearly grabbed their first two-goal lead of the series with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second when Recchi flicked a shot from the low slot that caught the heel of Hasek's glove. Recchi immediately raised his arms and replays appeared to show that Hasek caught the puck beyond the goal line. But the goal was negated by the video review official.
"I was almost positive it wasn't a goal," Hasek said. "I knew the puck was in my glove. The referee told me the glove went behind the goal line. That's why it took so long to review it."
Defenseman Chris Therien finally got the insurance goal 3:17 into the third period. His wrist shot from just inside the blue line deflected over Hasek's left shoulder.
Flyers defenseman Dan McGillis set the early tone with a crushing open-ice hit on Maxim Afinogenov at the Philadelphia blue line less than seven minutes into the game. That came seconds after Hasek was checked after straying from the net.
"We know he's an emotional goalie. He's a competitor and he gets upset over things," Recchi said. "We were trying to create traffic in front of him. When he can't see the puck, he gets frustrated."
Simon Gagne opened the scoring on the power play with 5:07 left in the first period, putting his own rebound past Hasek off Primeau's centering pass.
Six minutes into the second, Hasek was on his back in the crease when he got a piece of Jody Hull's rebound, then closed his legs over the puck before it crossed the goal line.
Afinogenov tied it at the nine-minute mark. Alexei Zhitnik's pass sent him into the Philadelphia zone between two defenders and Afinogenov ripped a blast from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Cechmanek, who had come out beyond the crease to challenge.