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Archive for Saturday, March 31, 2001

NHL Roundup: Sabres, Hasek humble Thrashers

Buffalo blanks Atlanta, 4-0, for fourth straight postseason berth

March 31, 2001

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— Fresh from his league-leading 11th shutout and helping the Buffalo Sabres clinch their fourth straight playoff berth, Dominik Hasek was sporting a brand new watch.

Hasek stopped 30 shots, shutting out Atlanta for the second time in five nights, leading the Sabres to a 4-0 victory over the Thrashers on Friday night.

The watch was a pleasant surprise a gift from his teammates for playing his 500th game earlier this season.

But no one needs to remind Hasek of what time it is. With the playoffs less than two weeks away, the five-time Vezina Trophy winner is on one of his remarkable rolls.

"I feel good about my game. But what happened, I want to leave it behind me and get ready for the next game," Hasek said. "I'm really excited. The team's playing well. I like the chemistry. Yeah, I'm excited."

So are the Sabres, bolstered by Hasek, who recorded his third shutout in his last five starts a span in which he's allowed only five goals.

"Dom obviously keeps this team in a lot of games. Some nights when we don't show up for him, he's always there," said Steve Heinze, who had three assists. "Dom, day in and day out is the hardest worker on the ice. ... He's a great goaltender and deserves a good team in front of him."

Miroslav Satan, with his fourth goal in four games, and Chris Gratton scored seven minutes apart in the first period as the Sabres matched a season-high by winning their fifth straight home game. James Patrick and Maxim Afinogenov sealed the victory, scoring a minute apart in the third period.

Senators 5, Bruins 4, OT

Ottawa Martin Havlat scored 2:26 into overtime, and Patrick Lalime made 44 saves as Ottawa rallied to beat Boston. The Senators, who trailed three times, regained the Eastern Conference lead from the New Jersey Devils. Boston slipped one point behind Carolina in the race for the conference's final playoff spot. Alexei Yashin and Rob Zamuner each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which set a franchise-record with 104 points. Ottawa is unbeaten in six games (5-0-1). Sergei Samsonov had two goals and Jason Allison a goal and two assists for Boston, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

Canes 4, Capitals 3, OT

Raleigh, N.C. Rod Brind'Amour scored 3:07 into overtime for Carolina (35-31-8-3), which has 81 points while Boston (32-29-8-8) has 80. Each team has five games remaining. The Hurricanes also own the tiebreakers between the teams. Tommy Westlund, Sami Kapanen and Ron Francis also scored for the Hurricanes.

Lightning 4, Panthers 2

Sunrise, Fla. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 32 shots in his first NHL game in nearly two years as Tampa Bay snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Florida. Khabibulin missed nearly two years in a contract dispute, but showed no rust.

Ducks 2, Canucks 2

Vancouver, British Columbia Ed Jovanovski scored with 3:57 left in regulation to give Vancouver a tie with Anaheim. Paul Kariya and Jeff Friesen scored power-play goals in the first period for Anaheim, but the Mighty Ducks remained winless in four games (0-2-2).

Stars 5, Oilers 4

Edmonton, Alberta Brenden Morrow and Joe Nieuwendyk each scored twice as Dallas beat Edmonton and clinched its fifth straight Pacific Division title. Richard Matvichuk scored the go-ahead goal at 5:12 of the third period for the Stars, 7-0-2 in their last nine. Doug Weight made it 5-4 with just 3.1 seconds left. Edmonton broke Dallas' eight-game streak of allowing one goal or fewer, a modern NHL record. Since moving to Dallas in 1993-94, the Stars are 25-4-3 against the Oilers.

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