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Lightning stopped by Hasek, 3-1

A 41-31 shot edge not enough against Buffalo's "Dominator.''

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 17, 2001


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Dominator lived up to his nickname Tuesday night.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek put on a vintage performance and made 40 saves to lead the Sabres to a 3-1 victory over the Lightning before 16,309 at HSBC Arena.

Tampa Bay took a season-high 41 shots, including 17 in the second period, and outshot the Sabres by 10. But Hasek stood tall and improved his record against the Lightning to 13-6-2.

Miroslav Satan had a goal and two assists and Stu Barnes had two goals, one short-handed, the league-high 11th the Lightning has given up.

Sheldon Keefe scored in the third period for Tampa Bay, which has lost seven of its past eight games and seven of its past eight in Buffalo. Tampa Bay was outshot 13-12 in the first period but had the best chances. Hasek was outstanding but almost played himself into a Lightning goal 4:09 in, when he ventured behind the net to play the puck.

Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis also was there and got to the puck just as Hasek moved back into the crease. St. Louis centered to Fredrik Modin, whose shot created a rebound opportunity that caused a scramble in front of the net.

The Lightning got another chance at 4:44, when Modin centered to Brad Richards, who had four shots in the period. Hasek made the sprawling save then stoned St. Louis, who picked up the rebound but could not lift the puck over Hasek's stacked pads.

The Sabres took a 1-0 lead at 5:31 on a nice three-way passing play between Jean-Pierre Dumont, who sent the puck behind the net to Satan, who sent a pass across the crease to Barnes, who beat goaltender Kevin Weekes.

Weekes, making his first start since sustaining a strained groin Jan. 7 against the Blackhawks, stood tall during a five-on-three Buffalo power play that started at 8:47 and lasted 1:27. The goaltender made two fine right leg saves with the second requiring an additional right leg save on Barnes' rebound shot.

Weekes stayed sharp with a quick left leg save on Rhett Warriner's shot from the high slot at 4:11. He was outstanding when he saved a close-in shot from Maxim Afinogenov then stayed square to stop Curtis Brown's rebound attempt.

Tampa Bay had two fine chances in the final minute, but Hasek stopped St. Louis in close on a rebound try then squeezed the pads to stop defenseman Andrei Zyuzin, who had ventured deep into the offensive zone.

The Lightning really turned things on in the second period, outshooting the Sabres 17-6 to take a 29-19 advantage. Yet Tampa Bay could not score on Hasek, who seemed to have every angle and shot covered.

The Sabres, on the other hand, got a gift goal at 9:07, when the Tampa Bay defense decided it was going to give Satan unlimited room to skate and Weekes wasn't going to get down low enough to stop a soft shot along the ice.

It was the Sabres' first shot of the period.

Tampa Bay kept plugging away, but Hasek kept plugging the openings in front of the net.

On the Lightning's first power play of the period, Mara launched a low wrister that Hasek gloved. Mara, who had five shots in the period, shot again. Hasek made the save again and stood his ground during a scramble in front of the net.

On Tampa Bay's second man advantage, Modin tested Hasek with a wicked blast from the slot. Hasek made the blocker save. Zyuzin took a hard shot from the point. Hasek made a stick save.

Weekes redeemed himself at 15:17 when he stopped Afinogenov on a breakaway after the right wing stole the puck from defenseman Cory Sarich near the Tampa Bay blue line.

Barnes gave Buffalo a 3-0 lead at 5:40 of the third period, when he scored short-handed by deflecting a Satan shot.

Keefe got his fourth goal with 9:24 left.

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