Sabres even seriesArchived from 1998-99 season.
Dominik Hasek was back in his usual spectacular form making 28 saves as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 Sunday night to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece.
"The first half of the game was our best effort in the playoffs," Hasek said. "We outskated them and outhit them. I'm sure Boston will be ready the next game."
Michael Peca, Curtis Brown and Dixon Ward scored for the Sabres, who are happy to take a one-one split in the first two games to Buffalo where they are 7-1-1 in the last nine games against Boston.
"This was the most important game of the season for us," Brown said. "It didn't matter how we won. We just had to get the win."
Tempers were running high in the game and reached a boiling point when the Bruins were upset at Buffalo's Alexei Zhitnik, who smacked Bruins captain Ray Bourque into the boards from behind late in the second period.
"It was a dirty hit. That's for sure," Bourque said. "There's a lot more games to play. You can dish it out. Sometimes you find yourself on the other side of those hits."
Znitnik, who received a two-minute penalty for boarding, said he didn't intend to hurt Bourque.
"If I wanted to injure him," Zhitnik said, "he wouldn't be playing anymore."
Buffalo players said that the Bruins were hitting Hasek with sticks repeatedly after whistles.
"It's something that people have tried on us before, getting a stick or two on Dominik," Peca said. "If it's gonna happen to us, it's going to happen to them somewhere along the line. I know (Kyle) McLaren got his stick in there a couple of times. If that's the way they want to play, then we'll be ready."
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