Sabres 1, Lightning 1
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Tampa Bay’s Daren Puppa and Buffalo’s Dominik Hasek put on goaltending clinics as Tampa Bay and Buffalo played to a 1-1 tie Sunday night.
Puppa, who stopped Randy Burridge from just outside the crease in the final minute of overtime, stopped 36 Buffalo shots. Hasek made 30 saves.
A scoreless third period featured numerous scoring chances. Hasek stopped Rob Zamuner’s shorthanded breakaway and also rejected Dino Ciccarelli’s blast from the high slot.
Puppa matched Hasek, stopping Brian Holzinger twice from in-close and then withstanding a final minute barrage that included point-blank chances by Matthew Barnaby and Derek Plante.
A lucky bounce on Alex Selivanov’s backhander helped the Lightning take a 1-0 lead after one period. After faking out Jay McKee, the Tampa Bay right wing’s shot hit Buffalo defenseman Richard Smehlik’s skate and wound up in the net.
Despite the fluke goal, Hasek had a stellar opening period. The 1996-97 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner faced 15 shots, including four solid scoring chances by Ciccarelli.
Jason Dawe tied the game in the second period, scoring from the slot following an errant clearing attempt by Yves Racine at 14:28. The right wing hit the post five minutes earlier.
Tampa Bay center Daymond Langkow had a goal at 9:27 disallowed when referee Dennis LaRue ruled that Ciccarelli was illegally in the crease.
The Ice Palace crowd of 12,198 was the smallest in the building’s two-year history. The previous mark was set Dec. 12, 1996 when 13,925 saw Tampa Bay and Edmonton play a 2-2 tie.
Buffalo played without defenseman Jason Woolley (thumb) and left wing Brad May (shoulder). Woolley will have a hairline fracture re-evaluated when the team returns to Buffalo. May is listed as day-to-day.