Sabres split, accomplish initial goal
Posted: Friday June 11, 1999 01:09 AM
DALLAS (AP) -- The Buffalo Sabres accomplished what they came to Dallas to get -- home-ice advantage.
It's not quite what they expected after winning the opener of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Sabres' bid to return to Buffalo up 2-0 ended when Brett Hull clanked in a goal off a post with 2:50 left in Game 2 and Derian Hatcher added an empty-netter, giving the Stars a 4-2 victory Thursday night.
Now Buffalo goes home with the series tied at a game apiece. The Sabres will try adding to their 7-0 record at Marine Midland Arena this postseason.
Buffalo came into the series wanting to be tied after the first two games in Dallas. But they set their sights higher after a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 1.
The Stars head north knowing they can't be swept. Their victory ended a streak of four straight finals sweeps.
Buffalo limited Dallas to 12 shots over the first two periods. Although the Stars were hitting hard and playing good defense themselves, the Sabres were still in control.
Buffalo led or was tied for most of Game 2, but ran out of gas in the final 10 minutes. The Sabres were outshot 13-3 in that span and seemed to lose every loose-puck battle.
Down the stretch, goaltender Dominik Hasek lived up to his nickname as The Dominator, keeping Buffalo close as long as he could -- just as he had in Game 1, when he foiled nine straight power plays.
In one four-minute span, Hasek fended off one shot during a brief 6-on-5, five shots on the ensuing power play, then turned back three more when Dallas had a two-man advantage.
When it was over, Hasek skated behind the goal and sat down to catch his breath. He still had to finish off another 1:17 of 5-on-4 play and he remained brilliant, kicking one rebound beyond the blue line.
On Dallas' 18th shot of the period, Hasek finally cracked. Hull fired a slap shot to Hasek's left and it ricocheted off the left post and into the right side of the net.
The Sabres had another power-play chance in the final minutes, but couldn't get their third goal with the extra man. They also went without Hasek in net and Hatcher made them pay, firing in a long shot after Dallas had cleared the puck.
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