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50 for 50

50 most memorable games in Sabres history

Unexpected memories. Magic performances. Playoff drama. And, yes, even some heartbreaking losses. They're all spread throughout Buffalo Sabres history. Here are our choices for the 50 most memorable games in franchise annals:

1. May 20, 1975 – 5-4 OT win over Philadelphia: Sabres win famous "Fog Game" in first Stanley Cup Final contest at home. Rene Robert's goal at 18:29 gets Buffalo within 2-1 in series.

2. June 19, 1999 – 2-1 triple-OT loss to Dallas: The "No Goal" game. Brett Hull's controversial goal at 14:51 of the third OT clinches the Stanley Cup for the Stars in Game 6. See our 2019 story on the 20th anniversary.

3. April 27, 1994 – 1-0 quadruple-OT win over New Jersey: The longest game in franchise history ends at 1:52 a.m. on Dave Hannan's backhand at 5:43 of the fourth overtime of Game 6, making a winner of Dominik Hasek's 70 saves. Aud fans are delirious but won't see the team again for several months after Game 7 is a 2-1 loss in the Meadowlands. See our 2019 story on the 25th anniversary.

4. April 24, 1993 – 6-5 OT win over Boston: "May Day, May Day" cries Rick Jeanneret as Brad May's goal completes a sweep and gives Sabres first series victory in 10 years.

5. Dec. 13, 1972 – 7-3 win over Boston: Youthful Sabres stand up to the "Big Bad Bruins" on the scoreboard and with their fists, including Jim Schoenfeld's bout with Wayne Cashman in the Aud hallway after they crashed through the boards at the Zamboni entrance.

6. Jan. 1, 2008 – 2-1 shootout loss to Pittsburgh: In inaugural Winter Classic, Sidney Crosby's goal is the winner in front of more than 72,000 fans in Ralph Wilson Stadium. See our oral history on the 10th anniversary.

7. May 27, 1975 – 2-0 loss to Philadelphia: Flyers win Stanley Cup in Game 6 at the Aud. Bernie Parent wrapped up Conn Smythe Trophy with the shutout and both goals came in the third period: Bob Kelly at 11 seconds and longtime NHL broadcaster Bill Clement on a breakaway at 17:13.

8. April 14, 1996 – 4-1 win over Hartford: A gravely ill Seymour Knox salutes the Aud after its final game with the memorable words, "Farewell, Old Friend." Pat LaFontaine caps the closing ceremony by tapping the puck into an empty net as the foghorn blasts one final time.

9. May 13, 2006 – 3-2 OT win at Ottawa: Sabres eliminate Senators in Game 5 of second round on Jason Pominville goal, the first series-winning short-handed goal in overtime in NHL history.

10. Jan. 24, 1978 – NHL All-Star Game at the Aud: Rick Martin scores the tying goal with 1:39 left and Gilbert Perreault scores the winner in OT to give the Wales Conference a 3-2 win over the Campbell Conference. Buffalo crowd is irate, however, when Islanders goalie Billy Smith is named the game's MVP.

11. Jan. 4, 1976 – 12-6 win over Soviet Wings: Sabres hand a touring Russian team its worst loss ever as 10 players score during a historic Sunday matinee. Rick Martin and Danny Gare lead the way with two goals apiece.

[Related: Hall inductee Alexander Yakushev has vivid memories of 12-6 loss to Sabres in 1976 exhibition game]

12. Oct. 10, 1970 – 2-1 win at Pittsburgh: Perreault scores third-period winner in first game in franchise history.

13. April 10, 1973 – 3-2 OT win at Montreal: Robert's goal at 9:18 gives Buffalo its first overtime victory in franchise history and cuts series deficit to 3-2.

14. May 5, 2006 – 7-6 OT win at Ottawa: Sabres win Game 1 on Chris Drury overtime goal after 18 seconds of OT. Game saw Buffalo battle back to tie five times, including Tim Connolly goal with 10 seconds left in regulation.

15. Feb. 24, 1982 – 6-3 loss to Edmonton: Perreault's hat trick is overshadowed by Wayne Gretzky's three goals in the final 6:36. The first one is the Great One's 77th of the season, breaking Phil Esposito's NHL record.

16. April 12, 1973 – 4-2 loss to Montreal: Aud fans spontaneously chant "Thank You Sabres" in closing minutes of Game 6 defeat that eliminates Buffalo from playoffs.

17. May 4, 2007 – 2-1 OT win over New York Rangers: Sabres pull out Game 5 of second round as Drury scores with 7.7 seconds to go in regulation and Maxim Afinogenov tallies on a power play at 4:39 of OT.

18. April 29, 1997 – 3-2 OT win over Ottawa: The first year of Marine Midland Arena is highlighted by the only Game 7 victory in franchise history as Derek Plante's slapshot eludes Ottawa goalie Ron Tugnutt at 5:24 of OT.

19. May 31, 1999 – 4-2 win at Toronto: Erik Rasmussen's goal midway through third period snaps a tie as Sabres advance to Cup final for first time in 24 years with win in Game 5 of East final.

20. June 8, 1999 – 3-2 OT win at Dallas: Sabres grab only lead in a Cup final in franchise history by taking the opening game on Jason Woolley goal at 15:30.

21. March 19, 1981 – 14-4 win over Toronto: Sabres set NHL record that still stands with nine-goal second period (and Leafs add three for NHL-record 12 combined) as Buffalo matches its biggest offensive output. Andre Savard (six points) and Perreault each tally hat tricks.

[Related: Sabres in the 80s: Buffalo scores nine goals in a period.]

22. Nov. 18, 1970 – 7-2 win at Toronto: Coach/GM Punch Imlach's return to Maple Leaf Gardens is a triumphant one as Gerry Meehan and Larry Keenan score two goals apiece.

23. April 1, 1973 – 3-1 win over St. Louis: Sabres get a win at Aud in season finale to clinch their first playoff berth in their third season.

24. May 6, 1975 – 5-4 OT win over Montreal: After losing Games 3 and 4 at Forum by a combined score of 15-2, Sabres take Game 5 of semifinals on Robert OT goal directly off faceoff.

25. May 8, 1975 – 4-3 win at Montreal: Sabres advance to first Stanley Cup final with Game 6 victory at the Forum.

26. Oct. 15, 1970 – 3-0 loss to Montreal: The first home game in the Aud is a shutout loss to the Habs most remembered for the iconic picture of captains Floyd Smith and Jean Beliveau taking the pregame ceremonial faceoff at center ice between Sabres owner Seymour Knox.

27. April 2, 1972 – 3-2 win over Philadelphia: Meehan scores with four seconds left in the season finale to deny a playoff berth for the Flyers, who needed only a tie to qualify.

28. Oct. 10, 1974 – 9-5 win over Boston: Gare scores 18 seconds into his first NHL game as Sabres roll past Bruins in their season opener.

29. Feb. 25, 1983 – 7-6 win over Boston: Trailing, 6-1, in the second period, the Sabres explode for their biggest comeback ever as Mal Davis gets the tying goal at 13:09 of the third period and then-rookie and future Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk gets the winner 43 seconds later.

30. April 27, 1975 – 6-5 OT win over Montreal: Gare slides into end boards just as he beats Ken Dryden for overtime winner in Game 1 of semifinals.

31. April 22, 1975 – 3-1 win over Chicago: Game 5 clincher is Sabres' first playoff series victory. Legendary Aud organist Norm Wullen celebrates by playing 1974 hit "The Night Chicago Died" during faceoffs in the closing two minutes.

32. May 1, 1980 – 2-1 OT loss to NY Islanders: In first multi-OT game in franchise history, Sabres fall in Game 2 of semifinals at Aud on Bob Nystrom goal at 1:20 of second OT.

33. April 24, 1983 – 3-2 OT loss at Boston: Sabres lose Game 7 of second-round series on Brad Park goal.

34. Dec. 21, 1975 – 14-2 win over Washington: Sabres explode for eight goals in the third period to post their highest goal total in franchise history. Martin (4) and Fred Stanfield (3) combine for half the scoring.

35. April 4, 1976 – 5-2 win over Toronto: Needing one goal in the season finale for his third consecutive 50-goal season, Martin is shut out and finishes with 49. But Gare nets a hat trick, including two goals in the third, to finish at 50 in his second NHL season.

36. Jan 4, 1980 – 6-1 win over Central Red Army: Aud fans are thrilled by a four-goal third period and a win over a Soviet squad that benefited from several charitable penalty calls from a Russian referee. Gare and Ric Seiling score two goals apiece.

37. June 1, 2006 – 4-2 loss at Carolina: Injury-depleted Sabres take a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes but give up three third-period goals and fall in Game 7 of East final.

38. April 9, 1983 – 4-2 win over Montreal: After back-to-back shutouts by Bob Sauve in Montreal, Sabres eliminate Habs at the Aud for the first three-game sweep in franchise history.

39. May 12, 1998 – 5-4 double-OT win at Montreal: Michael Peca's goal at 1:24 of the second OT produces a 3-0 lead in a series the Sabres would sweep two nights later.

40. April 9, 1988 – 6-2 in over Boston: Sabres get within 2-1 in first-round series as John Tucker becomes first Buffalo player with four goals in a playoff game. One was a penalty shot. Tucker scores OT winner the next night, but Sabres lose series in six games.

41.  April 23, 1999 – 3-2 double-OT win at Ottawa: Miroslav Satan's goal at 10:35 of the second OT and Hasek's 45 saves put the Sabres ahead, 2-0, in a series they would go on to sweep after entering the playoffs as the No. 7 seed.

42. May 10, 2001 – 3-2 OT loss to Pittsburgh: Sabres eliminated in Game 7 on Darius Kasparaitis goal in Hasek's final game in Buffalo uniform.

43. Feb 13, 2009 – 6-5 shootout win over San Jose: On the night after Flight 3407 crash in Clarence Center, crowd has an emotional moment of silence, then celebrates as Pominville tips a Craig Rivet shot home for the tying goal in the final seconds. See our story on the 10th anniversary.

44. Oct. 7, 2001 – 5-4 OT loss at NY Rangers: The score was irrelevant. The first regular-season NHL game in New York after the Sept. 11 attacks was a tribute to the first responders at Ground Zero. The Sabres sported never-again-worn black and red jerseys that read "New York" diagonally down the chest.

45. May 19, 2007 – 3-2 OT loss to Ottawa: Sabres are eliminated from East final in Game 5 on Daniel Alfredsson goal. It is the seventh time a Buffalo season has ended an on overtime tally.

46. Mar. 18, 1971 – 5-3 win over St. Louis: Perreault scores NHL rookie-record 35th goal in Aud win that came five days after 9-0 road loss to Blues.

Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner scores in overtime against San Jose Sharks to push the team's win streak to 10 games. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

47. Nov. 27, 2018 – 3-2 OT win over San Jose: Jeff Skinner picks up a loose puck and backhands it home to give the Sabres their 10th consecutive win, tying the franchise record.

48. Oct. 14, 2006 – 7-4 win over NY Rangers: With many HSBC Arena fans simply thankful to escape their powerless homes in the wake of the "October Surprise" snowstorm, Drury notches a hat trick as Sabres improve to 5-0 en route to NHL record-tying 10-0 start.

49. Oct. 8, 2015 – 3-1 loss to Ottawa: Jack Eichel produced a third-period goal in his NHL debut, but the first offside review in franchise history takes away an apparent tying goal from Evander Kane.

50. Feb. 25, 1978 – 13-3 win at Cleveland: In a game they once trailed, 2-1, Sabres posted what remains their highest goal output on the road. Gare (hat trick) and Jerry Korab both rang up five-point games.

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