Originally created 05/01/01

Sabres 4, Penguins 1



PITTSBURGH -- Jason Woolley's tip-in midway through the third period broke a tie, and the Buffalo Sabres rediscovered their offense to avoid going down three games, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Monday night.

The Sabres trailed 2-0 in the series and 1-0 in the second period until solving rookie goaltender Johan Hedberg twice in the third period. The Sabres added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Hedberg limited them to one goal in two Pittsburgh victories in Buffalo.

Curtis Brown tied it at 13:04 of the second period, and goalie Dominik Hasek then shut down Pittsburgh's ineffective offense before Woolley, a former Penguins player, got what proved to be the decisive goal at 9:51.

Miroslav Satan carried the puck into the Penguins end, shot and missed, but grabbed his own rebound, allowing Doug Gilmour to steer the puck from behind the net to an open Woolley at the right side of the crease. It was Woolley's first playoff goal since June 8, 1999, during the Stanley Cup finals in Dallas and gave Buffalo its first lead of the series.

Satan then prevented any Penguins comeback, with a wraparound goal at 13:03 off a rebound after Maxim Afinogenov faked defenseman Darius Kasparaitis off his skates with a drive to the net.

James Patrick added an empty-net goal to make it 4-1.

The Sabres regained their offense just in time - they scored on only one of their first 64 shots in the series - and after Hedberg, cheered on by thousands of fans wearing golden foam moose antlers in his honor, turned aside a flurry of Buffalo chances in the first 30 minutes.

The Penguins' offense badly missed five-time NHL scoring champion Jaromir Jagr, who sat out his second successive game with a shoulder or rotator cuff problem. Pittsburgh also was without Josef Beranek (arm), who effectively replaced Jagr in Game 2.

With the seldom-used Rene Corbet unable to make up Jagr's missing offense on the Mario Lemieux line, the Penguins were held to 20 shots, only 12 after the first period.

Game 4 will be Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins had been 8-1-3 against Buffalo since 1996 - with the only victory coming Dec. 2 - until Monday.

Pittsburgh had plenty of good scoring chances despite being outshot 9-8 in the first period, clanging three shots off the posts, before taking a 1-0 lead for the third straight game.

With Woolley in the box after a slashing penalty well behind the play, Andrew Ference's slap shot from the right point deflected off Kevin Stevens' stick at 5:34 of the second.

With the Sabres now in real danger of going down 3-0, they responded by outshooting the Penguins 10-3 in the period and finally tied it on Brown's deflection off Ference's leg.

Penguins defenseman Marc Bergevin couldn't clear the puck, and Brown put a hard shot on net from along the edge of the right circle that deflected past Hedberg inside the near post at 13:04.

Notes:

With Buffalo D Jay McKee (concussion) out at least a week, Richard Smehlik returned from an ankle injury. ... Buffalo D Alexei Zhitnik, playing despite a concussion also sustained in Game 2, led the Sabres in ice time. ... The Sabres are 0-15 after going down 2-0 in a playoff series. ... Buffalo was 0-for-4 on the power play and is 1-for-16 in the series. ... Pittsburgh had previously outscored its opponents 8-3 in the third period of the playoffs. ... The Penguins have yielded 11 goals in their last three home playoff games.