Sabres flatten Whalers 4-1

Buffalo bids farewell to Memorial Aud after final game in ‘95-96 season

April 14th, 1996

Final Score: Buffalo 4 | Hartford 1

Shots: Buffalo 39 | Hartford 26

Buffalo Goal Scorers: Derek Plante (22, 23), Pat LaFontaine (40), Micahel Peca (11)

Hartford Goal Scorers: Brendan Shanahan (44)

Notable Awards: Randy Burridge (Tim Horton Memorial/”Unsung Hero” Award, Punch Imlach Memorial Award)

Plus-1: Comeback Kids

The Sabres fell behind early in the first period thanks to star winger Brendan Shanahan, whose career would eventually span 22 seasons across just a few teams. However, before the first period could expire, Buffalo came back with a beautiful shot at the point by defenseman Alexei Zhitnik followed by a quick redirect by Plante. For the rest of the game, the Whalers would never be able to catch up.

Plus-2: La-La-La-La-La-La-La-Fontaine

While this was not captain Pat LaFontaine’s best season, it was certainly close. He ended his final game at the Aud with 40 goals, 91 points, and 224 shots on goal. Simply put: these are number Buffalo does not see anymore. Someone help?

Plus-3: Let’s Get Physical

In between the fancy shooting, there was no shortage of scrums with players like Brad May and Rob Ray on the ice. Ray would later be removed from the game with two misconduct penalties and prior to his exit, he had tallied 263 penalty minutes in the season. Not too shabby.

May and teammate Gary Galley were also ejected from the game. In total, this final Aud performance granted fans with 138 minutes in penalties.

And, even though their record was 33-42-7 - certainly nothing to write home about - it was not reflected in their effort, which was impressive and fun to watch. It almost looked as though the home team was fighting for a playoff spot. Oh, the good old days.

Up Next:

Relive another fun decade tomorrow night: the 2000s. Fans can witness the 3-0 win against the New York Islanders from the 2006-2007 season - which I refer to as the “one that got away” - at 8 PM. It was the year the Sabres would snag the President’s Trophy with 113 points and a legendary 53-22-7 record.