Geoff Sanderson scored off a rebound 2:37 into overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Sanderson, who also scored in the first period, grabbed Brian Holzinger's rebound and beat Canadiens goaltender Andy Moog with a wrist shot into the top half of the net.It marked the first time in 14 games that the Canadiens lost a game in overtime. Montreal nearly pulled out a victory after coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the third period.
Turner Stevenson and Vincent Damphousse scored 10 seconds apart with less than six minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game as the Sabres were caught sitting on a 2-0 lead.
Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek played brilliantly and finished with 46 saves. He had 42 saves before Stevenson broke through with 5:44 remaining in the third period. Marc Bureau had the puck near the point and sent a pass between the circles to Stevenson, who made a quick move and beat Hasek with a backhander to the stick side.
Moments after the ensuing faceoff, Damphousse took a pass from defenseman Vladimir Malakhov and beat Hasek between the legs with a wrist shot from a difficult angle.
Holzinger and Sanderson had given the Sabres a 2-0 lead in the first period.
BLUES 4, RED WINGS 2: The St. Louis Blues remained the only unbeaten team in the NHL playoffs, behind Jim Campbell's two third-period goals in the opener of their second-round series.
Todd Gill and Brett Hull also scored for the Blues, who swept the Los Angeles Kings in the first round. Martin Lapointe and Tomas Holmstrom scored for the Red Wings, who are trying to become the first team since 1992 to repeat as Stanley Cup champion.
Game 2 of the best-of-7 Western Conference series will be played Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena. Action then shifts to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4 beginning Tuesday night.
It was the first game for St. Louis since sweeping the Kings on April 29.