Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek was so good Saturday that he had the Philadelphia Flyers crowd chanting his name.
Hasek stopped 34 of 36 shots to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-2 tie with the Flyers, extending the Sabres' unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2). The Flyers remained winless in their last five games (0-3-2).
Hasek was especially sharp in the third period when the Flyers outshot the Sabres 12-2. In the final 50 seconds of the period, the majority of the sellout crowd of 19,584 began periodic chants of "Hasek, Hasek."
It marked the first meeting between the two teams since the Sabres beat the Flyers in the opening round of the playoffs last season, when Hasek allowed just nine goals in five games.
"We talked about last year's playoffs in the locker room before the game and it got us pumped up," Hasek said. "This is always a tough building to win in. We played well defensively and offensively the last five games so my teammates are making my life easier."
Hasek was spectacular in the final four minutes of regulation, turning away six Philadelphia shots including successive attempts by John LeClair, Rod Brind'Amour and Eric Lindros on a power play. He stopped 33 of 35 shots in regulation and raised his record overall to 6-3-2 on the season. Neither team mounted any significant scoring chances in overtime.
"It's a nice luxury to have a guy like him behind you," Buffalo's Geoff Sanderson said. "It wasn't a great game for us, and that made it stand out even more."
"Obviously, we've had good goaltending lately," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We have a good group of guys who have been stepping it up lately."
"Right now, we just haven't been getting a lot of goals," said the Flyers' Eric Lindros. "You can't keep a good team like that off the board for too long. We just have to take it game-by-game."
Philadelphia opened the scoring when Brind'Amour tapped in his sixth goal of the season just outside the crease off a rebound shot from Valeri Zelepukin at 10:47 of the first period.
"It was a tough game," Brind'Amour said. "We played better as the game went on and we didn't sit back. It's not acceptable to get a tie, but today was a lot better than the last few games."
Buffalo tied the score at 1-1 on Sanderson's sixth goal when he took a pass from Michael Peca on a 2-on-1 break and lifted a shot over a sprawled John Vanbiesbrouck at the 3:33 mark of the second period. Peca picked up a loose puck just behind the Flyers defense at the Philadelphia blue line.
Buffalo moved out to a 2-1 lead when Holzinger faked a slap shot from the right faceoff circle and then beat Vanbiesbrouck between the pads with a 15-footer with 5:49 left in the second period.
LeClair tied the game for the Flyers with his eighth goal of the season in the power play when he fired a shot from the left faceoff circle past Hasek's glove hand, as the Buffalo netminder came out to cut down the angle at 19:05 of the second period.
"Hasek was a part of the reason we didn't win," LeClair said. "He played well and especially came up big on a couple of power plays at the end (of regulation). It's disappointing when you get just one point."
Buffalo went 0-for-2 on the power play extending a 0-for-23 streak against the Flyers.
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