The Buffalo Sabres finally completed the late half of the daily double. And what a day they picked to do it.
First, the Buffalo Bills repeated as AFC East champs at Rich Stadium. Then the Sabres hit double figures at Memorial Auditorium for the first time since 1983 in a 10-3 rout of the Quebec Nordiques.
"The Bills won, the Sabres won, what a great day for Buffalo!" said Uwe Krupp.
What a great day, indeed.
The Bills go into the holidays knowing they have the home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. And the Sabres hit the break knowing that, yes, they can score goals.
It has been a quite a while since the city's two sports teams have been riding starry highs simultaneously.
"It has been haunting us all year long," Krupp said. "Here's the other team in Buffalo, winning all the time, and we can't get rolling. They go in cocky, and doing dances, and we go in and get beat, 4-3, and we can't get rolling.
"And everybody says, 'that team (the Sabres) doesn't have the chemistry.' Hopefully, this game unties the knot and we're going to be a little bit looser."
The Sabres have waited for a bust-out night like Sunday since romping over Vancouver, 7-1, back on Nov. 9. After blitzing the Canucks, the Sabres played seven straight home games without opening a lead of more than one goal. Their Aud record in that span was 1-4-2 -- with the last four games all losses.
It was only a matter of time until the Sabres, a team with plenty of capable goal scorers, broke the bank. But time was fast running short.
"We knew it would be sooner or later, but I didn't want to wait for this day until Game 79," said Christian Ruuttu. "It was supposed to open up for us, and it did tonight."
Ruuttu and Krupp led the scoring barrage by totaling four points apiece.
Ruuttu had two goals and two assists, Krupp a goal and three assists.
Pierre Turgeon also scored twice for the Sabres, while singles were added by Benoit Hogue, Dale Hawerchuk, Rick Vaive, Doug Bodger and Mike Ramsey.
Mike Hough, Stephane Morin and Tony McKegney scored for Quebec.
Ramsey's goal at 15:55 of the third period gave the Sabres their first 10-goal game at the Aud since a 11-2 rout of Calgary on Nov. 13, 1983.
The Sabres scored three times in both the first and second periods, then followed with four in the third. And the players visibly delighted in collecting their debts.
"It takes the monkey off our back, we can say that," Krupp said.
"Everybody takes a deep breath and says, 'yes, we did it. We won a game and we scored a few goals and they never got back at us.' It's great, everybody needed it."
"Just think," Bodger said, smiling, "another touchdown and we would have beaten the Miami Dolphins."