September 29, 2005
Steady as he goesHasek turns aside 23 shots in easy win over Sabres
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
BUFFALO -- Dominik Hasek returned to the scene of some of his greatest crimes last night.
But the Senators didn't need him to steal anything.
While the Senators goalie played the entire 60 minutes for the first time in the pre-season, he wasn't forced to a play a big role as the club skated to a 5-2 victory at HSBC Arena.
Yes, Hasek, who was suiting up as a visitor for only the second time since leaving the Sabres in 2002, was solid with 23 stops. Zdeno Chara, Steve Martins, Chris Neil, Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips scored for Ottawa, as Buffalo goalie Martin Biron turned in a weak performance.
Daniel Briere and J.P. Dumont scored on Hasek, who was booed when he was introduced as the starter. A small group of fans also chanted "Hasek, Hasek" after he took a delay of game penalty for illegally playing the puck outside the designated lines.
"It's nice to win here. I had never won here ... when I was in here with Detroit, we lost the only game I played here. I know it's only a pre-season game, but it was a good workout for me. I need to get this work," said Hasek.
Nobody in the Buffalo organization is surprised to see the 40-year-old Hasek still playing. The Sabres have always known him as a guy who has thrived to achieve more.
"(Hasek) is a true competitor," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "He never wanted to let in a goal. Guys would talk about the days where they'd take 60 or 70 shots in practice and they'd only score two goals. (Hasek) always liked to work. It doesn't surprise me at all that he's decided to come back."
Senators coach Bryan Murray said Hasek was excited to play against his former team.
"When I asked him, he was receptive to the idea. I thought he played real well," said Murray. "He made the saves and he stepped up. Fortunately, we were able to put the puck in the net in the second when we weren't really playing that well."
NEIL MAKES HIS CASE
Neil, pulled off a line with Mike Fisher and Peter Schaefer, tried to show he deserves a bigger role on this team with a nice offensive display at 11:07 of the second.
Not only did Neil exchange a few punches with Brendan McMorrow in the first, he also used some nifty stick work to beat Biron with a backhand alone in front.
A guy trying to get noticed is Martins. He made Murray take a second look by stealing the puck in a short-handed situation and firing it by Biron high on the stick side at 3:24 of the second.
NOTES: Senators F Peter Schaefer left the game late in the second period after taking a puck in the mouth that chipped a couple of teeth ... Hasek doesn't like the pre-season shootout idea. "All I'm trying to do is not get hurt. I don't think it's a very good idea," he said.