Sabres take first round

Archived from 1998-99 season.

1999 Playoffs




Jason Woolley scored at 15:30 of overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the stunned Dallas Stars in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

"I didn't get much chance to do much the whole game," Woolley said. "I snuck up on them a little bit and Curtis (Brown) made a great pass. In overtime, you just want to shoot. It was a great opportunity for our team to go up 1-0."

Buffalo grabs the home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series with the win. The Sabres can now win their first Stanley Cup by winning all of their games in Marine Midland Arena, where they are 7-0 in the playoffs.

Dominik Hasek made 35 saves and the Sabres' penalty-killing unit thwarted Dallas nine out their of ten power-plays. Dallas clearly controlled the game for the first two periods, but had only a 1-0 lead to show for it.

"I thought as the game went on, we started to come on," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "In the third period, for the longest time I think we gave them only one shot. We were sloppy in the first two periods. We came on in the third."

Buffalo grabbed the lead in the third period with goals by Stu Barnes and Wayne Primeau. Dallas forced overtime on Jere Lehtinen's goal with 48.3 seconds remaining. Mike Modano stripped the puck from Michael Peca after Hasek had come slightly out of the net and passed it to Lehtinen.

"Mike was forechecking there pretty good and he made a great pass," Lehtinen said. "It was almost an empty net there, and it just went in."

"After they tied the game, we didn't get down on ourselves," Sabres left wing Joe Juneau said. "Instead, we looked at overtime as a great chance to get a great win and create a hero."

After sleeping most of the first two periods, Buffalo controlled the third period as the Stars were trying to protect their 1-0 lead.

"We probably started to protect a little bit in the third period. But it's hard to be very critical of our hockey team," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said.

"Dom made some outstanding saves for us. We expected them to come out flying in the first period, but Dom kept us in the game and gave us the opportunity to win," Peca said. "We deserved to win the hockey game. Our penalty-killers did a great job, and we managed to hang around long enough to be able to feel as though we took control of the game. And we also continued to gain confidence as the game went along."

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