Hasek Hurt In Opener

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Dominik Hasek, who changed his mind about retirement after an injury-filled last season, strained a ligament under his left kneecap Thursday night in the Buffalo Sabres' season opener.

Hasek was hurt in the first period of the Sabres' 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Hasek, who missed 40 games last season with a groin strain, is day to day.

With Hasek gone and backup goalie Martin Biron unsigned, the Sabres went with Mika Noronen, last year's American Hockey League rookie of the year. Noronen stopped 15 shots in his NHL debut.

J.P. Dumont, Miroslav Satan, Maxim Afinogenov and Richard Smehlik scored for the Sabres. Doug Gilmour had two assists.

The game was Alpo Suhonen's debut as Chicago coach. Suhonen, of Finland, became the NHL's second European-born coach when he was hired this offseason.

Jean-Yves Leroux and Anders Eriksson scored for the Blackhawks, who haven't won at Buffalo since March 17, 1998.

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