April 27, 1994
Score: Buffalo 1, New Jersey 0 (4OT)
Shots: BUF-50 | NJD-70
Buffalo Goal Scorers: Dave Hannan (1)
New Jersey Goal Scorers: None
Plus-1: The Dominator!
As long as Dominik Hasek is on the ice, the Buffalo Sabres always have a chance at a win. Against all odds, the 29-year-old stopped all 70 shots he faced (a Sabres franchise record) throughout the contest, while helping the penalty-kill unit thwart all seven of the Devils’ man-advantage opportunities on the evening.
While Hasek wasn’t challenged too frequently with premium scoring opportunities, he managed a few highlight-reel stops to keep the game scoreless, particularly late in the third period.
On nights like these, it doesn’t matter that Buffalo was the second-best team on the ice. At the end of the day, they didn’t have the second-best goaltender, and for that reason, the team will head back to New Jersey for a series-deciding game-seven matchup.
Plus-2: Matching Physicality
Boy did the Devils ever do their best to keep the Sabres on the perimeter in this one. From the opening puck-drop, New Jersey made sure to keep any and all scoring threats on the outside, mitigating the amount of danger Martin Brodeur was forced to combat. Their ability to keep the ever-dangerous Alexander Mogilny at bay was noteworthy. The 25-year-old phenom only managed to register three shots in seven periods of action.
The way in which the Devils played defense as a team was the stuff of legends. In a game where interference calls were apparently not part of the officiating crew’s rule book, their heavy, physical defensive approach was nickname-worthy.
Perhaps they should call it “The Wrap” or “The Clasp”... Or something like that, anyway.
Minus-1: The Power-Play Unit
If the Sabres plan to advance and take on the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, they’ll need to get their man-advantage unit figured out in Game Seven. There was simply no excuse for going 0-for-9 on the night, and most of the time, you just won’t win games that way.
It’s tough to be too upset given the result, but still, it’s an area in need of improvement. It’s crazy to think this same unit finished second in the NHL in terms of efficiency during the regular season.
At the end of the day, the conclusion of this series will come down to whichever team is less exhausted after playing what was essentially two hockey games in one night.
Knowing the ending kind of took away from the excitement that surrounded this game at the time. Heartburn medication sales across Western New York had to sky rocket the following day. Obviously, a rerun would never capture the anticipation and tension as a fan viewing such a legendary contest in real time.
Overcoming not only two overturned goals during regulation, but also a goal-line trickler from Dale Hawerchuk that just failed to cross the line in second-overtime, was just incredible. A true display of the tenacity, and never-say-die attitude that epitomized Sabres hockey in the 1990’s.
Still, re-living one of the best goaltending duels in NHL history was certainly fun. Join us tomorrow night as we cover the final game at “The Aud” between the Sabres and the Hartford Whalers, a game that took place on April 14, 1996.