BUFFALO -- Dominik Hasek couldn't watch. Too bad.
The Senators' injured goaltender missed a Hecht of a show.
Asked to evaluate the outstanding performance of Senators goaltender Ray Emery last night, Hasek begged off on his way out of the HSBC Arena.
"I was so nervous I couldn't watch the third period," said Hasek. "I went and worked out."
Emery, with a couple of huge saves on Sabres forward Jochen Hecht, backed the Senators to a life-saving win last night and there will be at least one more hockey game at Scotiabank Place this season.
The Senators are still down 3-1 to the Buffalo Sabres in their Eastern Conference semi-final, but now it gets at least a little bit interesting, right?
One win by the Senators and both clubs are pretty much on the same footing now: One feels it can't lose another game and the other one knows it.
Emery saw his team outshot 16-3 in the second period while clinging to a 1-0 lead.
The way things are going, the Senators need almost a perfect night from the rookie and last night they pretty much got it as he supplied 29 saves.
You couldn't blame him on the one goal he did allow as defenceman Anton Volchenkov slid into him as Sabres forward Daniel Briere was completing a wraparound.
"If there's any team I've played for that's capable of winning four in a row it's this one," said Emery.
"We have the talent and the desire. Once things start going good, there's going to be a carry-over effect."
For whatever it's worth, the Senators won at least four games in a row six times during the regular season and wins over the Sabres were involved in three of those streaks.
Hear and there:
Mentioned the other day that Sabres forward Derek Roy has a reputation for going down easier than a cold Rolling Rock. It caught up with him last night. He was hauled down once and there was no call. In the third, referee Kerry Fraser called him for a dive ... One of the reasons the Senators won last night: They carved their turnovers down to 15, only two in the third period. You gotta take care of the rock ... Christoph Schubert was moved up to forward last night and did what he was supposed to do. He handed out a huge hit on Sabres D Rory Fitzpatrick on the forecheck, something that has been lacking in Ottawa's game. He tied for team lead with four hits in just 7:53 of play and tied for the lead in shots with four ... Ran into former Ottawa 67 Mark Mancari at the rink. He's one of the Sabres' Black Aces right now after a good first pro season under former 67/Senator Randy Cunneyworth in Rochester of the AHL. Mancari wasn't in the Amerks lineup to start the season, but worked his way up to the second line.
Maybe it's just karma: I was telling you in Cheapseats Wednesday about how Bryan Murray's Rockland Nats came back from being down 0-3 in the Centennial Cup playdowns in the '70s and won. So, during the first intermission, Ron Smith, a scout with the Carolina Hurricanes, walks up to me and says, "I saw your article on Bryan Murray and how they came back against Guelph. I was the coach of that team." Smith said he found out years later the players on his team had a big party before Game 4, thinking they were going to win. Murray and Smith wound up sitting at the same table at breakfast yesterday. Both coaches from that series in the same place now? Gotta be a sign.
One good use of the big screen was TSN's Top 10 calls by Sabres play-by-play legend Rick Jeanneret. His "May Day" was No. 1, of course, for Brad May's overtime goal. It was just an inspired moment. "You couldn't prepare for Brad May scoring a goal," said Jeanneret, just before the third period started. "I don't think he had scored a goal in 22 games at that point." ... Jim Lorentz, Jeanneret's analyst who's heard just about all of them, said "I like the La-La-La's," referring to Jeanneret's calls of goals by Pat LaFontaine ... Emery said after the game he's not bothered by people talking about Hasek coming back to play. "I realize Dom is going to be a Hall of Famer. When he played this year, he was the best in the league. People are going to want him to play for the team." After last night's performance, who would want Hasek in there, anyway?
After watching Volchenkov misplay a lob into the Senators zone in the first period, giving Briere a clear-cut chance, I think the A-Train blew his chance of nailing down that centrefielder job on the company softball team ... He doesn't have much of a future as a pinch runner, either. He slid messily into Emery and helped Briere score the Sabres' goal.
Lemme Say This About That:
The Senators' defencemen have made a bunch of questionable pinches in this series, but Brian Pothier made a beauty in the first. He caused a turnover and fed Schubert, who made a nice move only to see Miller snare his backhander ... Chara might be playing with one hand, but it was enough to send both Briere and Dumont to the ice with one hit in the second period. It looked like something out of the Three Stooges.
I went out for a walk yesterday afternoon and got caught in the rain. I bought an umbrella for $1.09 at a dollar store. $1.09! You might wonder how they could sell an umbrella so cheaply. Apparently, by skipping the part where they waterproof the material.