for this game

Hecht helps Sabres eliminate Rangers in six games

May 6, 2007 - 10:43 PM
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Jochen Hecht rediscovered his scoring touch in time to send the New York Rangers home for the summer.

Hecht tallied twice and Daniel Briere had three assists as the Buffalo Sabres advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season with a 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers in Game Six on Sunday.

Chris Drury also continued his playoff success with a goal and an assist for the top-seeded Sabres, who will meet the fourth-seeded Ottawa Senators for the right to play for the Stanley Cup. Buffalo beat Ottawa in the conference semis last season.

"It was a big relief in the first round and another big relief there in the second round," Briere said. "Every round the goal is to move forward."

The President's Trophy winners during the regular season when they led the league with 308 goals, the Sabres had managed just four goals in the last three games against Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.

Hecht had even been in bigger scoring drought, registering just one assists in his previous 10 postseason games. He had not scored in 16 games overall dating to March 28 against New Jersey.

"I was frustrated. But tonight I was over that point where I was frustrated and I was going out there and trying to play good, creating chances," Hecht said. "I didn't think about it tonight and maybe that's the reason why it finally went in."

But Hecht scored once during a four-goal uprising in the second and again in the third as the Sabres again looked like the high-flying team they were during the regular season.

"We didn't have a lot of luck our previous games," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You think you're going to catch a break sooner or later. I don't think anybody would have predicted there would have been nine goals in this game."

Hecht rifled a high wrist shot past Lundqvist from the edge of the right faceoff circle at 7:41 of the second period off a 3-on-2, giving the Sabres a 3-2 lead.

"He's so good at taking the bottom part of the net away and we finally tonight got the shots up and they went in," Hecht said.

"Everybody's happy for him. It's been a tough playoffs for him so far in the offensive department," Briere said. "You know what he's always going to give you defensively, he doesn't make too many mistakes. He's very good going to the boards and he's good at killing penalties. But the puck didn't want to go in for him. It's good to see. He's well-liked in the room and the guys were excited for him."

Drury, who scored perhaps the Sabres' biggest goal of the season in Game Five when he tallied with eight seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, found the back of the net off a scramble in front at 11:15 of the middle session for a 4-2 advantage. It was his 42nd career playoff goal.

"We just wanted to keep getting shots," Drury said. "If we got a good 30 to 35 shots, we liked our chances. In the first period, he made some great saves. We knew if we kept up like that we would get our breaks."

Briere said the Sabres kept it simple in their approach to solve Lundqvist.

"The only thing we told ourselves that we could do is to keep throwing pucks at the net," Briere said. " Obviously the plan from Game One was to try and shoot high on (Lundqvist). We were hoping at some point that the puck was going to find the back of the net.

"It did for both teams and I thought it was just for us a matter of trying to fight hard to keep getting pucks at the net, even though we were really frustrated because the puck wasn't finding the back of the net."

Lundqvist finished with 24 saves in his worst game of the series.

"It is tough to realize the season is over," the Swedish netminder said. "It was a weird game today. The puck bounced all over the place. Three of their goals were deflections. Two were from our guys and one was from them. Obviously the loss in game five was huge for this series. We still felt good coming into this game and I think we played well but we just came up short."

After superstar Jaromir Jagr scored 5:08 into the third period to pull the Rangers within 4-3, Hecht redirected a shot past Lundqvist at 14:50 to restore a two-goal advantage.

Michael Nylander scored his second goal of the game, a power-play tally with 2:51 remaining that pulled the Rangers within 5-4.

The sixth-seeded Rangers pressured in the waning moments but were unable to get the equalizer against Ryan Miller, who finished with 32 saves.

"It was odd man rushes (that cost us the series)," Jagr said. "We said that all series long. We just can't give it to them. You have to be careful. We didn't lose it, we just gave it to them. They are a great team but they aren't better."

Nylander also opened the scoring with his first goal of the series with 2:50 left in the opening period, when he beat Miller with a shot from the bottom of the right circle.

Dmitri Kalinin and Jason Pominville scored in the first 2:53 of the second period, giving the Sabres a 2-1 lead.

Defenseman Paul Mara scored the first of three power-play goals for the Rangers at 4:40 of the middle session, tying the game at 2-2.

"It is a tough way to lose. It is a sour taste in your mouth," Nylander said.








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 4 1 5
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 5 (PAUL MARA, MARTIN STRAKA) 17:10
    2ND PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 2 (ALES KOTALIK, DANIEL BRIERE) 1:29
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 4 (ADAM MAIR, PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:53
    NYR - (PP) PAUL MARA 2 (K

    May 6 4:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 5
    NY RANGERS 4
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) MICHAEL NYLANDER 6 (MARTIN STRAKA, MICHAL
    ROZSIVAL) 17:09

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 4:43 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 4:43 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bones Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 4:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 5
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 2 (DANIEL BRIERE) 14:50

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 4:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 4
    NY RANGERS 3
    3RD PRD: NYR - (PP) JAROMIR JAGR 5 (MARTIN STRAKA, KAREL RACHUNEK)
    5:08

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 4:19 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 4 4
    NY RANGERS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 5 (PAUL MARA, MARTIN STRAKA) 17:10
    2ND PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 2 (ALES KOTALIK, DANIEL BRIERE) 1:29
    BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 4 (ADAM MAIR, PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:53
    NYR - (PP) P

    May 6 3:52 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 4
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) CHRIS DRURY 7 (DANIEL BRIERE, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    11:15

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 3:35 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 3
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - JOCHEN HECHT 1 (CHRIS DRURY, DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 7:41

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 3:28 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY RANGERS 2
    2ND PRD: NYR - (PP) PAUL MARA 2 (KAREL RACHUNEK) 4:40

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 3:21 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 2
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 4 (ADAM MAIR, PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:53

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 3:17 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 2 (ALES KOTALIK, DANIEL BRIERE) 1:29

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 3:15 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    NY RANGERS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 5 (PAUL MARA, MARTIN STRAKA) 17:10
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 11 11
    NYR 8 8
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN

    May 6 2:55 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL BUFFALO 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYR - MICHAEL NYLANDER 5 (PAUL MARA, MARTIN STRAKA) 17:10

    Sabres vs. RangersMay 6 2:49 PM