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By Patrick Matthies, Pre-Game Correspondant
Saturday, June 12, 1999

We've seen it all in this series. Now, we're going to see even more of it. Tonight when the Sabres make a successful return to THEIR rink, A battle like no other is going to take place. We're going to see lots of heart stopping hits, jars, and jabs, along with Goalie bumping, hacks, slashes, and if we're lucky, a few goals as well. The home crowd is going to be loud and obnoxious, and the Sabres are going to be pumped up.

A pivotal game 3 tonite, and I solemnly believe the victor tonite is going to win the Series. With another "everything at stake" game, look for some key plays in the neutral zone.

What Dallas needs to do to win: Clog up EVERYTHING. This isn't your ice. Your going to be pounded with new speed. Belfour is going to have to be superb and not let the crowd get in his brain. The Defense first system isn't going to work in the Sabre's house, because your not going to have a chance to set up. Your going to have to Break Plays up in the Neutral Zone. Get a good lead. Your going to get scored on. Out hit, out hit out hit. Find a way to Rattle Hasek, bumping him isn't going to work. Score on the Powerplay.

What Buffalo needs to do to win: Out hit, out hit, out hit. Can we say big factor here? Don't be too upset if Modano does play. Get everything out of your system against Dallas tonite, there won't be a second chance in game four. Rattle Belfour by scoring a lot of goals, not hitting him. Stupid penalties lead to blown leads and games. Use the crowd. You know it's going to rock in there, feed. Use the better ice to skate like you've never skated before. And score 5 on 5. Keep the lines flowing. don't stop the rush. Set up in front of Belfour. Bang in the trash. Ugly goals count as much as pretty ones. Look for the Sabres to win this one, but not by one goal. Don't expect scoring in the Second period.