The Buffalo Sabres traded with the Kings for goalie Robb Stauber to give Dominik Hasek some help.
The timing was right, because Hasek went out because of an injured shoulder as soon as Stauber arrived.
Hasek was back Friday, a week earlier than expected and just in time to stop a three-game Sabre losing streak by rejecting 28 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers at Buffalo.
It was his second shutout of the season and the timing was good. The Sabres had played their worst hockey in consecutive losses to Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, with their defense making Stauber wonder if he had really left the Kings.
Friday, Buffalo helped Hasek with strong defense and good checking that had been missing.
"Dominik played a great game," Sabre Coach John Muckler said. "He did what he always does--he gives us a chance to win. He had some difficult saves early in the game and he came up big for us."
The Sabres limited the Panthers to few good scoring chances and had little problem clearing the puck despite Florida's aggressive attack.
"It looked like we could have played until Tuesday and not get a goal on him," Panther Coach Roger Neilson said.
Hasek has 10 of Buffalo's 12 victories this season and has a 1.84 goals-against average.
"We lost three games and we had to win," Hasek said. "Like any other game, it was important."
Pat LaFontaine, Dave Hannan and Alexander Mogilny scored goals.
Pittsburgh 5, New Jersey 2--Martin Straka set up Joe Mullen's power-play goal, then scored 29 seconds later at Pittsburgh as the Penguins won their third in a row.
Goalie Ken Wregget, who has all 21 of Pittsburgh's victories, left the game after injuring a leg with 4:25 to go.
Wregget had gone back to clear the puck. When New Jersey's Bobby Holik approached, Wregget stepped awkwardly on the back of the cage and twisted his ankle. After the game, he emerged from the training room limping, with his ankle packed in ice and his near future in doubt.
Toronto 3, Winnipeg 2--Felix Potvin, benched for four games because of inconsistency, stopped 30 shots in his return for the Maple Leafs at Toronto.
Damian Rhodes had gone 2-1-1 in his absence.
Boston 4, Tampa Bay 3--Fred Knipscheer scored at 3:32 of overtime for the Bruins at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Knipscheer, playing his second game since being recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League, shot into an empty net for his second goal in as many games.
A pass from Cam Neely from behind the Lightning net fooled goaltender Daren Puppa, setting up the score that completed a three-goal comeback for the Bruins.
Calgary 3, Detroit 2--Wes Walz, Paul Kruse and Sandy McCarthy scored first-period goals as the Flames held on to win at Calgary and end a five-game Red Wing winning streak.