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Sabres Beat Canadiens in Overtime

NHL playoffs: Sanderson's second goal of the game decides it; Hasek makes 46 saves.

May 09, 1998| From Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Geoff Sanderson scored off a rebound 2:37 into overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Sanderson, who also scored in the first period, grabbed Brian Holzinger's rebound and beat Canadien goaltender Andy Moog with a wrist shot into the top half of the net.

It marked the first time in 14 games that the Canadiens lost a game in overtime.

Montreal nearly pulled out a victory after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period.

Sanderson found himself in Coach Lindy Ruff's doghouse and was in street clothes for the series-clinching first-round victory in Game 5 against the Philadelphia Flyers after he went four games without scoring.

"When you're supposed to be scoring goals and you go through a series where you don't produce, then you have to make changes," Sanderson said. "I knew I had to score. I put all sorts of pressure on myself to do it."

Said Ruff: "Nobody wants to sit out a playoff game. I thought [the benching] was a chance to send him a message."

With the Sabres sitting on a 2-0 lead, the Canadiens' Turner Stevenson and Vincent Damphousse scored 10 seconds apart with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to tie the score.

For the first 54 minutes Friday night, the game belonged to Sabre goaltender Dominik Hasek, who once again saved his team from embarrassment. He made 42 saves and killed several scoring opportunities as the Sabres went up 2-0.

But then the Turner Stevenson and Vincent Damphousse scored for the Canadiens 10 minutes apart with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game.

Hasek finished with 46 saves.

Montreal had a chance to win with two minutes left in the third when Shayne Corson rattled a wrist shot off the goal post. Less than a minute later, Mark Recchi hit the other post.

"We responded well in the second and third periods," Damphousse said. "We are not going to stop coming at [Hasek]."

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