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Pittsburgh sorely misses sore Jagr as Buffalo cuts series lead to 2-1

Sabres cruise past punchless Pens

Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2001

PITTSBURGH -- Jason Woolley's tip-in midway through the third period broke a tie, and the Buffalo Sabres rediscovered their offense to avoid going down three games, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Monday night.

The Sabres trailed 2-0 in the series and 1-0 in the second period until solving rookie goaltender Johan Hedberg twice in the third period. The Sabres added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Hedberg limited them to one goal in two Pittsburgh victories in Buffalo.

Curtis Brown tied it at 13:04 of the second period, and goalie Dominik Hasek then shut down Pittsburgh's ineffective offense before Woolley, a former Penguins player, got what proved to be the decisive goal at 9:51.

Miroslav Satan carried the puck into the Penguins end, shot and missed, but grabbed his own rebound, allowing Doug Gilmour to steer the puck from behind the net to an open Woolley at the right side of the crease. It was Woolley's first playoff goal since June 8, 1999, during the Stanley Cup finals in Dallas and gave Buffalo its first lead of the series.

Satan then prevented any Penguins comeback, with a wraparound goal at 13:03 off a rebound after Maxim Afinogenov faked defenseman Darius Kasparaitis off his skates with a drive to the net.

James Patrick added an empty-net goal to make it 4-1.

The Sabres regained their offense just in time -- they scored on only one of their first 64 shots in the series -- and after Hedberg, cheered on by thousands of fans wearing golden foam moose antlers in his honor, turned aside a flurry of Buffalo chances in the first 30 minutes.

The Penguins' offense badly missed five-time NHL scoring champion Jaromir Jagr, who sat out his second successive game with a shoulder or rotator cuff problem. Pittsburgh also was without Josef Beranek (arm), who effectively replaced Jagr in Game 2.

With the seldom-used Rene Corbet unable to make up Jagr's missing offense on the Mario Lemieux line, the Penguins were held to 20 shots, only 12 after the first period.

Game 4 will be Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins had been 8-1-3 against Buffalo since 1996 -- with the only victory coming Dec. 2 -- until Monday.

Avalanche 4, Kings 3

LOS ANGELES -- Milan Hedjuk had a goal and two assists and the Colorado Avalanche held off the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 Monday night to take the lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Peter Forsberg added a goal and an assist to help Colorado take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Avalanche won for the first time at Staples Center after going 0-4 during the two regular seasons at the 2-year-old arena.

Game 4 is Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Colorado captain Joe Sakic, the NHL's second-leading scorer this season, injured his shoulder in the first period Monday night and did not return.

''My shoulder went into the glass and it hurt right away,'' he said. ''It's very frustrating. But I don't think it's too bad, so hopefully I'll be able to go next game.''

The center, who had 54 goals and 64 assists in the regular season, skated only five shifts in the first period of Colorado's 4-3 victory.

''The X-rays on Joe's shoulder were negative, only a bruise, so we'll re-evaluate it in the morning,'' coach Bob Hartley said.



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