BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Dominik Hasek has many great memories of
Buffalo. Sunday's homecoming won't be among them.
Pulled 40 minutes into a 5-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the
goalie spent the final period alone in the Detroit Red Wings
dressing room riding an exercise bike.
"What can I say? I was excited to be back, but disappointed
after the game," Hasek said. "We were a little sluggish, and I
didn't have my best game either. The way we played, we had no
chance of beating them."
Despite the defeat, Detroit clinched a playoff spot.
Hasek allowed four goals on the first 12 shots he faced in his
first trip back to Buffalo, where the six-time Vezina Trophy-winner
spent nine seasons before being dealt to Detroit last July.
The Sabres, labeled by Hasek as non-contenders upon his
departure from Buffalo, came out strong and focused in beating the
NHL's top team.
Miroslav Satan scored twice as Buffalo won its third straight
and jumped into 11th place, ahead of idle Pittsburgh, in the
Eastern Conference. Curtis Brown, Maxim Afinogenov and Chris
Gratton had a goal and assist each for Buffalo, which beat Detroit
for the first time in 12 meetings (1-10-1).
The Sabres, as they insisted before the game, said their
thoughts were focused on winning, not on Hasek.
"It's not any nicer than any other day," Sabres goalie Martin
Biron said. "Opening the paper and seeing that we were sitting in
10th or 11th and trying to catch Montreal and the Rangers, that
should be enough to get us ready to play a great game."
It was a consummate effort for the Sabres, who for the third
straight time jumped out to a quick lead.
A two-man advantage led to Buffalo's first two goals.
With Brown screening Hasek, Satan opened the scoring 4:03 in.
Brown scored 38 seconds later, redirecting Afinogenov's pass into
Afinogenov made it 3-0 just nine minutes later, scoring on a
breakaway just as he left the penalty box.
"We had a very good start and we didn't let it slip away,"
Satan said. "Before the game, we didn't talk much about Dom. They
have enough guys to worry about."
It didn't help that high winds prevented the team from arriving
in Buffalo until about three hours before game time.
Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit in the second period, the first
goal Biron allowed in more than two games. Biron's shutout streak
ended at 144 minutes, 4 seconds, breaking his career-high by 33
The loss ended a number of impressive Red Wings' streaks.
Coming off Saturday's 5-2 win at St. Louis, Detroit entered the
game having won eight straight as well as a franchise-record eight
in a row on the road. Hasek had a 15-game (13-0-2) unbeaten streak
snapped, and was denied an opportunity to win his 38th game, which
would have marked a career high.
"We were due for one of these games," Red Wings coach Scotty
Hasek was completely fooled on Gratton's goal 72 seconds into
the second period. Hasek made the first move, inexplicably diving
to his left, allowing Gratton to score into an open net.
"I just guessed, and I made a funny move. I don't know why,"
Hasek said. "It was the worst goal I've ever given up."
Gratton will take it, his third goal in three games.
"I think Dom saw me look over there," Gratton said. "I was
surprised to see the net open, and surprised it went in."
Eight of the 13 goals Buffalo scored in its last three
games have come in the first period. ... With the Red Wings off
until Wednesday, Hasek planned to stay in Buffalo overnight to
visit with members of Hasek's Heroes, a youth hockey program he
established last year for underprivileged children. ... The Sabres
welcome back another former star Tuesday, as ex-Sabres captain
Michael Peca makes his first visit to Buffalo since being traded to
the New York Islanders last June.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: First Niagara Center Location: Buffalo, New York
Referees: Bill McCreary, Brad Meier Linesmen: Dan McCourt, Ray Scapinello
Attendance: 18,690 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Miroslav Satan (21)
(Power Play) Assist: Tim Connolly
Curtis Brown (16)
(Power Play) Assists: Maxim Afinogenov, Dmitri Kalinin
Maxim Afinogenov (20)
Assist: Curtis Brown
Chris Gratton (9)
Assists: Dmitri Kalinin, Alexei Zhitnik
Pavel Datsyuk (11)
Assists: Brett Hull, Boyd Devereaux
Miroslav Satan (22)
Assists: Chris Gratton, Tim Connolly