Final OT

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Friday, November 1st

Sabres 1

(3-5-0, 9 pts)

Oilers 1

(2-4-1, 8 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 1, 2002

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
BUF 0 0 1 01
EDM 0 1 0 01

J. Niinimaa (Oilers - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Noronen (Sabres - G): Saves: 39, Save Pct.: .975

T. Salo (Oilers - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .970

Brewer, Satan leave game with injuries

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- After losing three of their last four games, the Buffalo Sabres were desperate for a point.

Dmitri Kalinin

Dmitri Kalinin scored a power-play goal at 6:39 of the third period to lift Buffalo to a 1-1 tie with the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

With Josh Green in the penalty box for slashing, the 22-year-old Russian fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that deflected off Tommy Salo's glove and in. Edmonton's only goal deflected in off Kalinin's skate earlier in the game.

"I thought Dmitri was very good,'' Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "He skated well in the game. It was a tough break on the first goal, it goes off his skate. But he came right back.''

Former Oiler Jochen Hecht and Chris Gratton assisted on the goal for the Sabres (3-5-3-0), who are winless in five games due mainly to a lack of scoring.

Buffalo has not scored more than two goals in a game since getting four against the New York Rangers on Oct. 17.

"We get some strange goals that go off the stick or go off the skate into our net, but we stick with it, played our system and fought back in all the games,'' Hecht said. "Another tie for us -- we'll take it.''

Janne Niinimaa scored for the Oilers (2-4-3-1), who have managed points in three consecutive games after going winless in five.

Niinimaa's goal, at 8:22 of the second period, was his third of the season. Jiri Dopita and Georges Laraque assisted on the play.

Edmonton's two biggest forwards did a good job of keeping the puck deep in the Buffalo end before Laraque eventually sent a pass out toward the blue line.

Niinimaa retrieved it and let go a wrist shot that went through a crowd, off Kalinin, and in behind goaltender Mika Noronen, who kept the Sabres in the game all night long.

"We executed the game plan for the first time except we didn't get the calls on the power play,'' Niinimaa said. "There's a lot of good stuff going on. It's still disappointing. It's a struggle. We've just got to get scoring goals. That's what we need.''

Noronen made 39 saves, stopping Mike Comrie on a breakaway in the final minute of overtime.

"Not too many goalies usually stack their pads and I thought I had him five-hole,'' Comrie said. "Anson (Carter) made a great play and saw me breaking. I just couldn't bury it. He made an unusual save when he stacked his pads.''

Noronen was making just his second start.

"I played two games in the last four weeks,'' he said. "I'm really starting to enjoy the game again and I had fun there so I'm happy about it. They had some chances and I made good saves. I started to feel better and better. That's what happens some nights, you get lucky and you make some stops that you don't even see.''

Salo stopped 32 shots, including a big save on Jason Woolley with just over 2 minutes remaining in overtime. Woolley cut to the net and one-timed a shot right into Salo's chest.

It was the first action for Salo since being pulled in the first period of a 4-3 win over Anaheim last Saturday. Salo allowed three goals on the first five shots he faced before he was sent to the bench in favor of Jussi Markkanen, who also started against Dallas Stars on Monday.

"We had a lot of chances to win the hockey game so it was a little bit disappointing,'' Salo said. "I felt stronger as the game went on and it was good to get going again.''

Oilers defenseman Eric Brewer left in the third period and did not return. Edmonton trainer Ken Lowe was working on Brewer's shoulder on the bench before he went to the dressing room. Brewer was to be re-evaluated Saturday and is day-to-day.

Later in the period, Sabres forward Miroslav Satan left and went to the hospital.

"I think he's got a hip pointer and his back went into spasms, so that's why we got him off the bench,'' Ruff said.

Game notes

Gratton leads Buffalo with nine assists. ... Fans were given ThunderStix as they entered Skyreach Centre. The inflatable tubes were a favorite of Anaheim Angels fans in the World Series. ... Niinimaa extended his point streak to five games (2-4-6).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press