Share this article

print logo

He shoots, he scores! The Sabres' most memorable goals

From playoff overtime winners that will stand the test of time — often because of Rick Jeanneret's iconic radio and TV calls — to some long-ago plays that still resonate in franchise annals, here's our list of the 50 most memorable goals in Buffalo Sabres history.

1. April 24, 1993: May Day! Brad May's spectacular goal at 4:48 of overtime gives the Sabres a 6-5 win over Boston to complete a four-game sweep and the team's first playoff series win in 10 years.

2. May 13, 2006: Jason Pominville's "scary good" goal at 2:26 of OT gives the Sabres a 3-2 win at Ottawa in Game 5 of the second round. It's the first short-handed series-winning overtime goal in NHL history.

3. May 4, 2007:  Who else? Who else? With a 3-2 series deficit squarely in view, captain Chris Drury scores with 7.7 seconds left to pull the Sabres into a 1-1 tie with the Rangers in Game 5 of the second round in Buffalo. Maxim Afinogenov's overtime tally that produced a 2-1 win seemed like a matter of time, given the citywide euphoria after the tying goal. See the goals here.

4. April 27, 1994: The Longest Night. Dave Hannan's backhand at 5:43 of the fourth overtime gives the Sabres a 1-0 win over New Jersey to even the first-round series at 3-3. The Sabres went on to lose Game 7 two nights later, 2-1.

5. Oct. 10, 1970: Gil Perreault's first NHL goal, at 11:26 of the third period, gives the Sabres a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh in their first NHL game. See the goal here.

6. April 10, 1973: Rene Robert's goal at 9:18 decides Sabres' first overtime game, a 3-2 win at Montreal in Game 5 of their first-round series.

7. May 20, 1975: Robert's goal through the Aud fog at 18:29 of OT gives Sabres a 5-4 win over the Flyers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

8. March 9, 1986: Perreault scores his 500th career goal at 10:44 of the second period in a 4-3 win over New Jersey at the Aud – and gets a ride on his teammates' shoulders as part of the celebration.

9. May 5, 2006: Drury scores the fastest OT goal in franchise history, a snapshot at 18 seconds, to grab a 7-6 win at Ottawa in a wild opener of the second round as Sabres rallied five times to tie the score. See the goal here.

10. June 8, 1999: The Shot Heard 'Round the Hockey World. Jason Woolley's goal at 15:30 of overtime gives Sabres a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Cup final in Dallas. See the goal here.

11. April 14, 1996: Farewell, Old Friend. This wasn't an official goal but is easily memorable to Sabres fans. After the final game is played at the Aud, a 4-1 win over Hartford, an elaborate closing ceremony is held. It ends with captain Pat LaFontaine skating and saluting the roaring crowd – and then sliding the puck into an empty net as the arena's goal horn let out one final series of blasts. See the goal here.

12. March 18, 1971: Perreault's 35th goal of the season sets NHL record for rookies and lifts Sabres to 5-3 win over St. Louis at the Aud. Perreault would finish with 38 goals and 72 points.

13. April 29, 1997: Derek Plante's slapshot at 5:24 of overtime gives the Sabres a 3-2 win over Ottawa in Game 7 of the first round in Marine Midland Arena. It remains the only Game 7 victory in franchise history. See the goal here.

14. Oct. 10, 1974: Danny Gare's goal 18 seconds into the season opener – three seconds shy of the NHL record for a rookie from the opening faceoff of his first game – sends the Sabres on their way to a 9-5 win over the Bruins in the Aud.

15. April 2, 1972: Gerry Meehan's goal with four seconds left in the season finale gives the Sabres a 3-2 win over Philadelphia, eliminating the Flyers from the playoffs when they only needed to hold on for a tie to qualify. See the goal here.

16. March 20, 1993: Alexander Mogilny becomes the first and only Sabre to score 70 goals in a season with a power-play tally at 5:45 of the second period in a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay. He would finish with 76. See the goal here.

17. April 7, 1974: Rick Martin becomes franchise's first 50-goal scorer when he tallies at 8:39 of the first period of a 5-2 win over St. Louis in the season finale at the Aud. Martin tallies twice in the third period to complete a hat trick and finish with 52.

18. April 3, 1975: Martin scores 50th goal for the second time in his career and adds No. 51 in a 4-2 win over the Bruins.

19. April 27, 1975: Gare beats Ken Dryden at 4:42 of overtime to give Sabres a 6-5 win over Montreal in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals. See the goal here from the NBC telecast.

20. May 6, 1975: Robert scores directly off the faceoff at 5:56 of OT to give Sabres a 5-4 win over the Habs and a 3-2 lead in the semifinal series.

21. Jan. 24, 1978: A 2-for-1 as the Sabres host their only NHL All-Star Game. Martin scores the tying goal with 1:39 left and Perreault gets the winner in overtime – as Phil Esposito accidentally deflects a pass into his own net – to lift the Wales Conference to a 3-2 win over the Campbell Conference.

22. Feb. 13, 2009: Playing in front of an emotionally wrought crowd the night after the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center, Pominville tips home Craig Rivet's shot from the point with 3.9 seconds left to forge a 5-5 tie against San Jose in a game the Sabres went on to win in a shootout, 6-5.

23. Oct. 5, 1989: Mogilny scores 20 seconds into his first NHL game as the Sabres beat Quebec in the Aud, 4-3. The goal is two seconds shy of Gare's '74 tally vs. Boston for fastest in franchise history by a rookie in his first game. See the goal here.

24. April 4, 1976: With Martin at 49 goals and Gare at 47 entering the season finale in the Aud against Toronto, Gare wraps up a hat trick with 7:59 left in the third period to get to 50. Martin doesn't score in the 5-2 win and is denied his third 50-goal season.

25. April 22, 2006: A return to the playoffs after a five-year absence is a triumphant one as Daniel Briere scores at 7:31 of the second OT to produce a 3-2 win over Philadelphia in Game 1 of the first round. See the goal here.

26. May 29, 1999: Popular enforcer Rob Ray scores on a tip-in with his back to the net as part of a three-goal second period in a 5-2 win over Toronto. That left the Sabres with a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference final. See the goal here.

27. Feb. 19, 1972: Martin scores his 39th goal to break Perreault's rookie record in a 4-1 loss at Toronto. Martin would finish with 44.

28. April 9, 1976: Don Luce's goal at 14:27 of OT gives Sabres a 2-1 win over St. Louis and a 2-1 victory in the best-of-three preliminary round, a massive struggle for a heavily favored Buffalo club against Blues rookie goalie Ed Staniowski – who made 123 saves and posted a .946 save percentage in the three games.

29. Dec. 15, 1977: Perreault scores his 250th career goal with what might rate as the franchise's most spectacular deke, a right-handed move while warding off a defenseman to beat Los Angeles goalie Rogie Vachon. It was part of a hat trick to key a 7-3 victory in the Forum.

30. May 31, 1999: Erik Rasmussen's backhand with 8:25 to go snaps a tie and Sabres go on to 4-2 win in Toronto in Game 5 of the East final. Sabres win series, 4-1, and advance to first Stanley Cup Final in 24 years. See the goal here.

31. May 12, 1998: Michael Peca's goal at 1:24 of the second OT produces a 5-4 win at Montreal and a 3-0 lead in the second-round series. Sabres complete a sweep two nights later with a 3-1 win. See the goal here.

32. April 23, 1999: Miroslav Satan's goal at 10:35 of the second OT gives Sabres a 3-2 win at Ottawa and a 2-0 lead in a first-round series they would sweep. See the goal here.

33. April 3, 1980: Gare scores his 53rd of the season in an 8-3 win over Quebec at the Aud to break Martin's franchise mark of 52. Gare would finish season with 56 and hold the franchise record for 13 years until Mogilny broke it.

34. April 9, 1983: Tony McKegney scores at 15:50 of the third period to snap a tie and send Sabres on to 4-2 win over Montreal in the Aud, completing a three-game sweep of their first-round series. It's Buffalo's last playoff win for 10 years.

35. May 30, 2006: Briere's goal at 4:22 of OT gives the Sabres a 2-1 win over Carolina in HSBC Arena to even the Eastern Conference final at 3-3. See the goal here.

36. Feb. 6, 1986: Dave Andreychuk's goal at 17:15 of the second period gives the Sabres a 7-4 lead of an eventual 8-6 win at Boston and was his fifth of the game – the only time in Sabres history a player has scored five goals.

37. Feb. 25, 1983: Mal Davis' goal at 13:52 of the third period gives the Sabres a 7-6 win over Boston in the Aud, capping a comeback from a 6-1 deficit. It's the only game in franchise history Buffalo has won when trailing by five goals. See the goal here.

38. May 1, 1998: Michal Grosek scores on a power play at 5:40 of OT to give the Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Flyers and a 4-1 triumph in their first-round series. See the goal here.

39. April 10, 1988: One night after his four-goal output that included a penalty shot goal, John Tucker scores at 5:32 of overtime to give the Sabres a 6-5 win over Boston and even their first-round series at 2-2. The Bruins would win the last two games to take the series. See the goal here.

40. Dec. 21, 1991: Mogilny scores five seconds into a 4-1 win at Toronto to tie NHL record for fastest goal from the opening faceoff. See the goal here.

41. Nov. 27, 2018: Jeff Skinner corrals a loose puck and backhands it home to give the Sabres a 3-2 overtime win over San Jose and tie the franchise record of 10 consecutive wins.

42. May 5, 2001: Stu Barnes' goal at 8:34 of OT gives Sabres a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh and 3-2 lead in second-round series -- but Buffalo loses the final two games and doesn't return to playoffs for another five years. See the goal here.

43. May 10, 2006: J.P. Dumont scores at 5:05 of overtime as Sabres beat Ottawa, 3-2, to take 3-0 lead in series. See the goal here.

44. Feb. 14, 2004: Mika Noronen tallies the only goal by a goaltender in franchise history, an empty netter in a 6-4 win at Toronto that saw the Leafs accidentally slide the puck the length of the ice into their unguarded cage. As the last Buffalo player to touch the puck, Norenen gets credit.

45. June 1, 2006: Jochen Hecht ricochets a puck home from behind the blue line with five seconds left in the second period to give the injury-riddled Sabres a 2-1 lead in Game 7 of the East final at Carolina. But we all know what happened in the third period.

46. Jan. 1, 2008: Brian Campbell's wrist shot from the right circle in the second period is the Sabres' first outdoor goal and their only one in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Penguins at the inaugural Winter Classic in Ralph Wilson Stadium. See the goal here.

[Related: Ten years later, an oral history of the 2008 Winter Classic]

47. Oct. 8, 2015: Jack Eichel scores his first NHL goal in the period of his first NHL game, but the first offside challenge in a Sabres game takes away Evander Kane's potential tying goal and Sabres lose to Ottawa, 3-1. See the goal here.

48. Dec. 23, 2013: The Butt Goal. Defenseman Mark Pysyk is credited with the overtime goal in a 2-1 win over Phoenix after the puck flops through the air, lands into the back of goalie Mike Smith's pants and Smith carries it into the net. Video of the play quickly goes viral.

49. April 22, 2011: Rookie Tyler Ennis' goal at 5:31 of OT gives Sabres 4-3 win at Philadelphia and 3-2 lead in first-round series in what remains Buffalo's last playoff win. Sabres would lose last two games of series and have not been in postseason since. See the goal here.

50. Jan. 1, 2000: Rasmussen's goal at 48 seconds of the first period is Buffalo's first goal of the new century and comes in an 8-1 home win over Toronto.

Story topics: / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment