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By SabreSword

Sabres shock Senators with knockout punch

Four straight games, four victories for the Sabres. Anyone who picked a Buffalo sweep before the series started was either a die-hard fan with no logic or was really pulling your leg. But sweep they did as Buffalo scored a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the scrappy Senators tonight. Buffalo took a quick 2-0 lead in this game with goals by Erik Rasmussen and Vaclav Varada. Rasmussen got his first ever NHL playoff goal when he hit home a rebound of Wayne Primeau's slap shot.

A little over a minute and a half later, Varada scored his first playoff goal. Varada took a pass off the boards from Peca, and trickled a shot in between Tugnutt's pads.

Ottawa stormed right back with a goal by Jason York, but Varada got his second goal of the night to put the Sabres up 3-1. Once again the Sens came back to make it a one goal game when McEachern scored. The second period was a wild one, with the play opening up, as opposed to the tight checking of the first three games.

Buffalo scored on a power play by Alexei Zhitnik with 13 minutes left in the third. Buffalo was passing the puck around the outside of the box when Joe Juneau made a pretty back pass to Zhitnik who blasted the puck past Tugnutt. Nelson Emerson once again got the Senators to within one with 5:36 remaining and all the fans remained on the edges of their seats for the remainder of the game. All can remember the Senators great comeback on December 30, when they scored within 10 seconds remaining to tie the game and they won in overtime. The Sabres, however, tightened up their checking and kept Yashin and his teammates off the scoreboard. The brooms flooded the ice with a minute remaining and it caused several delays.

Dominik Hasek, who had his 4th playoff shutout on Sunday, went almost 145 minutes before York scored to break his streak. Hasek, who finished with 40 saves, did allow a couple goals through his legs. But he also made several spectacular saves in preserving the victory. The three goals against Hasek equaled the entire number scored against him in the series' first three games. Hasek gave up six goals on 162 shots in the series.

Now the wait is on to see who the Sabres next opponent is.