Dominik Hasek is hot again. Hot and bothered. And the Philadelphia Flyers are lovin' it.
The Flyers rattled Hasek enough to record a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, for a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference quarter-final series.
Hasek was bashed, crashed and harrassed by the Flyers forwards, who did everything they could to disrupt the Dominator.
They crowded him. They slashed him. They angered him. And they scored on him.
John LeClair and Eric Desjardins had power-play goals for the Flyers, while Miroslav Satan opened the scoring for the Sabres.
After Hasek made a spectacular save on Mark Recchi at one end, Satan was left unguarded in front of rookie goaltender Brian Boucher at the other, and slipped in a rebound for his second goal in as many nights.
The Flyers tied the game in the second period on a goal that TV replays later revealed was no goal at all.
A slapshot by John LeClair from the left faceoff circle appeared to go in between the post and a perfectly-positioned Hasek, but replays showed the puck travelled through an opening at the side of the net.
"It went in kind of funny, but I'll take it," LeClair said.
Hasek shook his head in disbelief, but because no one argued the call, the phantom goal was allowed to stand.
"It was a 99-mph, 100-mph shot," Hasek said. "I looked at it right away and blamed myself. I thought maybe I made a mistake."
He didn't. But the NHL did.
Amazingly, series supervisor John D'Amico and video replay judge Mike Condon reviewed the goal from two camera angles, and deemed it legit.
However, angles from TV cameras which the NHL did not have access to, clearly showed the puck entering from outside the post.
D'Amico admitted afterwards that the goal should not have counted.
"We can't review what we can't see," D'Amico said.
Not until later in the period was play halted to repair the hole.
"As a player, you say there's no way this puck can go in, even though you saw it go in," said Dixon Ward, who was first to notice the hole in the side of the net.
The incident only served to further distract an already perturbed Hasek who, minutes later, was penalized for roughing Keith Primeau after getting hacked on the hand.
Rick Tocchet did likewise later in the period, sparking yet another outburst from Hasek.
Fact is, while Hasek struggles to keep a stranglehold on his emotions, the Flyers now have a stranglehold on this series.