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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Closing in

      May 14, 1999 -- The Buffalo Sabres were about ready to get back to the National Hockey League's Final Four on this night.

     The Sabres defeated the Bruins, 3-0, to take a 3-1 lead in the playoff series. One more win would put Buffalo back in the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year.

     "We want to go to Boston and finish them off," said Vaclav Varada, who had a goal in the win. "If we don't win in Boston, we feel we can come home and beat them."

     Michael Peca scored a short-handed goal with 8:21 left to wrap the game up. Alexei Zhitnik actually got credit for the game-winer, tallying on the power play, and Dominik Hasek had 24 saves in a routine shutout.

     The Sabres had beaten the Bruins seven times out of nine during the course of that season.

     "We're exactly where we want to be," Sabres forward Brian Holzinger said. "Their backs are really against the wall. Now, it's up to us to put the final nail in the coffin."  

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.