Bondra beats Sabres

1998 Playoffs

NHL teams

It looked like Peter Bondra put everything he had in the shot from the top of the left circle. It was well worth it as the puck bounced off Dominik Hasek's glove and in the net at 9:37 into overtime. The Washington Capitals had beaten the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"I heard the guys screaming from the bench, 'Just rip it. Shoot it,"' Bondra said. "It felt good on my stick. I just got a little lucky and it went in."

The off-ice tensions that were apparent after controversial Game 2 didn't translate on the ice in Game 3. The NHL officials had apologized Buffalo for an officiating screw-up that allowed Washington to score the winning goal in Game 2 on a play that should have been whistled dead for icing.

Later Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff called Washington coach Ron Wilson mockingly "genius". Wilson responded by calling the Sabres "chicken".

Bondra, who started the scoring in the first period and added an assist on Richard Zednik goal to put the Capitals 2-0 ahead early. Zednik also had two goal and an assist in the game.

Buffalo fought back with goal from Donald Audette, Matthew Barnaby and Brian Holzinger to take 3-2 lead in the second period before Zednik's second goal tied the game, setting up a scoreless third period and overtime.

"We avenged our loss at home," Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig said. "We came into Buffalo knowing these guys haven't lost at home. We beat them on their own turf. We got our home-ice (advantage) back, but we're not going to be happy with a split."

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