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Sabres Central

Sabres beat the clock and sweep the Devils
By Rick Anderson
February 23, 2001

It was a frantic scene in front of the Sabres goal as the clock ticked down. The Sabres were trying to hold off the New Jersey Devils from tying the game with only seconds left of the clock. Brian Rafalski put a 30-foot on Sabres goalie that Dominik Hasek couldn't see through a screen. As the puck got through and crossed the goal line, the final buzzer sounded and the green light went on. It was a photo finish and the on-ice officials had to go upstairs to check with the video judge to see if the goal would stand. After two straight years of no-goal misfortune, the luck of the draw finally swung the Buffalo Sabres way as the goal was disallowed and the Sabres were given the 1-0 victory over the Devils.

Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek makes one of his 24 saves against the New Jersey Devils as Sergei Brylin attempts to put one in during the third period.
[AP Photo/Bill Kostroun]

"When he was shooting I wasn't sure," admitted Hasek about the non-goal. "I could hear the horn and the puck was still in front of me. I was 99 percent sure it was after time expired."

Hasek was so sure that he skated off the ice and headed towards the locker room. It is rumored that he had already showered and was dressed in street clothers by the time the officials finally determined that the game had ended before the puck crossed the goal line.

"Dom's not wrong very often," said Ruff.

So once again the Sabres are involved in a No goal debate, but it must be refreshing for this jinxed team to finally be on the right side of the controversy.

"I just shot it. I had no idea," said the would-be scorer Rafalski. "Obviously it was close."

By beating the Devils, the Sabres swept the series with last year's Stanley Cup Champions 4-0. It also was the 6th straight win over New Jersey dating to last season. The Sabres have had no problems beating the top teams in the East, it's the weaker teams who give the Sabres fits.

Andreychuk scores winner

The Sabres got the only goal they needed 10:19 into 2nd period when Big Dave Andreychuk managed to tip a loose puck top shelf past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. Vaclav Varada had sent the puck in front of Andreychuk in the crease area and Andreychuk was sent down to the ice, but still managed to poke the puck into the net for his 14th of the season.

"It's a good play to throw it in front," said Andreychuk . "Marty doesn't know when it's going to get to him. It went in the right spot. It was just one of those goals."

From there, it was the Dominator's show. He turned back 24 shots in making his second straight shutout and an NHL leading 8th of the season.

The Sabres take on Phoenix on Friday and Tampa Bay on Sunday, both at HSBC Arean.

Sabres Talk

Andreychuk was in a talkative mood after scoring his 14 of the year.

"We've played well defensively the last two weeks," said Andreychuk. "Obviously Dominik played great, but we've played good team defense. The forwards come back and there are not a lot of outnumbered situations."

Then he talked about his goal.

"I had a good pass in front. It was a good play (by Varada) - throw it in front," Andreychuk said.

"He's not usually standing up," said Ruff about Andreychuk when he attempts to score. "He's on one knee or he's lying face-first on the ice, but he finds a way to get the shot off. He's a master of scoring that kind of goal."

Ruff then turned his attention to the game.

"These games are tough to play," described Ruff. "It's tough for them to play, it's tough for us to play. There's no atmosphere. It almost seems that when you get into a game like this, the game lacks emotion or a lot of intensity."


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