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Hasek Pulled As Sabres Tie

Two-time MVPs aren't accustomed to being pulled during a hockey game, and Dominik Hasek hopes it doesn't happen again.

Fortunately for the all-star goaltender, the Buffalo Sabres recovered from a two-goal deficit early in the third period to tie the Atlanta Thrashers 5-5 Saturday night.

"Sometimes it happens," Hasek said. "It's disappointing anytime you have to leave the game. But this wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I don't think about reasons."

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  • Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff yanked Hasek at 7:48 of the second period the first time he had been taken out of a game since Dec. 28 after the expansion Thrashers scored four goals.

    Hasek, who led the NHL in save percentage each of the last six seasons, had not allowed that many regular-season goals since Feb. 3 against Colorado a span covering 20 games.

    Rookie center Patrik Stefan scored twice in the second period off Hasek and also handed out an assist to Nelson Emerson, who beat Dwayne Roloson at 18:01 of the second to give Atlanta a 5-3 lead.

    But the Sabres rallied when Curtis Brown scored his second goal of the game and then Satan scored his second on a penalty shot at 3:19. Satan was awarded the shot when Atlanta's Nelson Emerson fell on the puck in the crease.

    Roloson stopped 11 of 12 shots in regulation and handled all four shots in overtime.

    The first overall pick in the June amateur draft, the 19-year-old Stefan will always remember scoring his first NHL goals off a future Hall of Famer. Both players are natives of the Czech Republic.

    "I've never met him but I've eard of him," Stefan said. "He is one of the best goalies in the NHL. It was a bit of a dream to score on him and this is his last year."

    Ruff was disappointed in the effort displayed by his defending Eastern Conference champions, who are still seeking their first win.

    "Yeah, we looked overconfident," Ruff said. "We didn't come out to play. We need to start competing. We had plenty of chances to score."

    "We created all kinds of action. We just needed to put our minds to it."

    Atlanta's Damian Rhodes made 30 saves, including three in overtime.

    Buffalo missed a 4-on-3 opportunity with 37.4 left in overtime when Stefan, the first overall selection in the June amateur draft, was called for high-sticking.

    The Thrashers remained winless after opening the season with New Jersey, Detroit and Buffalo.

    "These are fast teams, really quick," said Atlanta coach Curt Fraser. "We've got to learn to play much more positionally sound."

    The Sabres are just now putting the pieces of last year's Stanley Cup finalist team together, following the contract agreements reached this week with forward Miroslav Satan, their points leader the last two seasons, and defenseman Jay McKee.

    Defenseman Rhett Warner is the only remaining unsigned Sabre.

    Buffalo led 2-1 after the first period.

    Left wing Denny Lambert, playing for his third team in as many seasons, put Atlanta ahead 1-0 with his first goal as a Thrasher. Brown tied the game with an unassisted goal and Satan scored his first since signing a two-year contract Tuesday.

    The Thrashers outscored the Sabres 4-1 in the second period to go ahead 5-3 after 40 minutes. Along with Stefan and Emerson, Andrew Burnett also scored for Atlanta in the second. Stu Barnes scored for Buffalo in the period.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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