Sabres shut down Philly

Dominator steps it up

Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2001

PHILADELPHIA -- Dominik Hasek stopped 31 shots -- including Mark Recchi's first-period penalty shot -- as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Roman Cechmanek, who allowed just two goals on 102 shots in a four-game sweep of Buffalo during the regular season, gave up soft goals to Chris Gratton and Doug Gilmour in the first period. He made 21 saves.

Eric Desjardins scored the only goal for the Flyers, who are playing the Sabres in the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years. Philadelphia won three of the previous four series.

Red Wings 5, Kings 3

DETROIT -- Detroit beat Los Angeles without captain Steve Yzerman, who missed most of the playoff opener because of a sore leg.

Brendan Shanahan scored twice for the Red Wings, who had a 3-0 first-period lead after their first nine shots in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Red Wings haven't lost a first-round playoff game in two years. Detroit is unbeaten in 20 home games overall, dating to the regular season.

The Kings have not won a playoff game since the 1993 Stanley Cup finals and have lost 13 straight postseason games, including a four-game sweep by Detroit last year.

Yzerman was only able to play 5 minutes, 58 seconds of the first period.

Stars 2, Oilers 1, OT

DALLAS -- Jamie Langenbrunner scored off his own long rebound 2:18 into overtime as the Dallas Stars continued their domination of the Edmonton Oilers with a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in a first-round playoff game.

Langenbrunner fired at Tommy Salo at the edge of the left circle, then got the puck back a few feet away barely inside the right circle and knocked it in for Dallas' 13th straight victory over Edmonton at Reunion Arena.

Mike Modano also scored for the Stars, who came into the postseason on a 13-game unbeaten streak. Dallas improved to 25-4-2 against the Oilers the last four seasons.

The Western Conference series doesn't resume until Saturday, then again Sunday in Edmonton.

Dallas, seeking to become the first team to make three straight Stanley Cup finals since the Wayne Gretzky-led Oilers of 1983-85, has eliminated Edmonton from the last three playoffs. This is the fifth straight year the teams are meeting in the postseason.

The Oilers led 1-0 in the second period on a rebound goal by Ryan Smyth. Soon after, they had a 4-on-3 power play for 1 minute, 44 seconds but got off only one shot, mostly against Modano, Derian Hatcher and Richard Matvichuk.

Dallas appeared to have tied it a few minutes later on a blast by Brad Lukowich, but Brett Hull took out goalie Tommy Salo as the puck arrived. The interference nullified the shot.

Then the Stars went on a power play and Modano fired in a one-timer with 1:46 left in the second off a crisp pass from Darryl Sydor. Modano nearly scored again as the period ended.

Nobody deserved a goal more than Modano as he thoroughly dominated on offense and defense. It was his fifth straight game with a goal.

In addition to his attacks on the net, Modano made smart plays like checking defenseman Eric Brewer into the boards and stealing the puck when he played it slowly. Modano later swiped away a wobbly puck from the crease after goalie Ed Belfour lost sight of it.

Salo played more like the goalie who won 36 games this season than someone who is 1-9 in the postseason and 2-15-1 against the Stars.

He withstood Dallas' incredibly energetic play in the first period and stopped 10 shots in the third period, including a blast by Hull in open ice. Salo finished with 26 saves.

Belfour provided the consistency the Stars have come to expect in the postseason. The only goal he allowed on 22 chances came after the puck ricocheted off the post and back out between his legs.

With 2:42 left in regulation, Mike Grier stole a cross-ice pass from Sergei Zubov and charged at Belfour, but fired wide of the net.

Edmonton retained the puck and Belfour turned away several more chances, including one by Grier that went into Belfour's back while sideways on the ice. It was the kind of miss that typifies the Oilers' futility in Reunion Arena, where Edmonton hasn't won since -- regular season or postseason -- since May 9, 1998.

Dallas has won 13 of 15 playoff games against the Oilers the last four years, all with Belfour. Andy Moog was in net when the Stars lost the 1996 series.

Notes: Edmonton's Doug Weight, coming off a four-point game against Vancouver, had an assist, but Dallas' Kirk Muller held him without a shot. ... Dallas' power-play goal in the second period ended an 0-for-14 drought against Edmonton this season. ... This is the fourth time NHL teams have met at least five straight times in the postseason. The record is nine in a row by Boston and Montreal from 1984-92. ... Dallas has nine players who've been in all five series. Edmonton has five. ... A sure sign that the playoffs are here: Dehumidifiers returned to Reunion Arena. They likely won't be needed next season when the Stars move into the state-of-the-art American Airlines Center.

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