Sabres 3, Whalers 2
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Dave Andreychuk scored his 29th goal of the season with 10 seconds left in the second period, lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Hartford Whalers Thursday night.
Scott Arniel and Mark Napier were the other Buffalo scorers. Dave Tippett and Sylvain Turgeon replied for Hartford.
The Sabres jumped into a 2-0 lead late in the first period, but it was short-lived.
Arniel opened the scoring at 14:59. Christian Ruuttu pounced on a rebound and, with goaltender Mike Liut sprawled on the ice, passed to Arniel, who was left uncovered in front. Arniel popped the puck into the open side of the net.
Just 37 seconds later, Napier retrieved his own rebound and flipped a 15 -footer over Liut.
But Hartford got one back at 16:05 when Tippett beat goaltender Tom Barrasso with a low shot from the left faceoff circle to the far side of the net.
The Whalers pulled even at 2:50 of the second period when Turgeon cashed in on a second rebound. Ray Ferraro engineered the play as he carried in on the left side. His shot was blocked by Barrasso, who also foiled the rebound attempt by Kevin Dineen. But Turgeon moved in and flipped the puck over the sprawling Buffalo goalie.
Then Andreychuk got his game-winner. Andreychuk broke in from the right side and his high shot hit the far goalpost. John Tucker picked up the rebound and set up Andreychuk’s shot from the rim of the left circle that deflected off Hartford defenseman Sylvain Cote.
Sabres coach Ted Sator felt that his veterans and especially Barrasso played a key role in the victory.
″As the game got longer, Tommy got stronger. That’s a good sign,″ Sator said. ″The veterans provided good leadership, but they have all season.″
Hartford coach Larry Pleau felt his club didn’t come prepared to play.
″We didn’t come out to play the first 12 minutes of the game and that’s what cost us,″ Pleau said. ″On the third goal, it was a situation where we got ourselves in trouble the last couple of minutes, then got out of it the last 15 seconds, but we didn’t dump the puck out. We tried to beat the guy.″
Liut agreed with Pleau’s assessment about not being ready in the early stages.
″We had some chances to tie the game, but they got a fluky goal to go ahead,″ Liut said.
On the game-winning goal by Andreychuk, Liut said he got taken out of the net.
″There was a scramble and Andreychuk had the puck and he went to tap it to the other side of the net but it went off one of our sliding defensemen. It deflected up into the air and behind the line,″ he said.