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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Bouncing back

   February 29, 1976 - It's not easy to find a highlight for Leap Day, since there's only one of them every four years.

   It wasn't noted at the time, but the Sabres played their first-ever February 29 game on this date. What's more, they came back from a poor performance the night before in Kansas City to win.

   The Sabres had an odd first period. They were outshot by the Kings, 13-4, but led by a 3-0 count after 20 minutes. Fred Stanfield had two goals and Danny Gare added one.

   Play was much more even after that. Jim Lorentz and Craig Ramsay finished out the Buffalo scoring in a 5-1 win. Al Smith stopped 32 of 33 shots.

   Including that game, the Sabres only lost three of their last 17 games as they headed into the playoffs. It looked as if Buffalo was primed for a good postseason run. Instead, the Sabres lost to the New York Islanders.

--- Budd Bailey

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