The Sabres will take to the ice downtown in black and red uniforms for the first time since the spring of 2006. As 90s Night will be full of nostalgia, let’s look back on some of the best moments of Buffalo’s black and red era.
These are presented in no particular order as ranking the best moments of that 10-year span would be awfully subjective. Feel free to share your favorite Goathead memories in the comments or on Twitter.
Derek Plante OT Goal vs. Ottawa
Still the lone game seven win in franchise history. Plante’s winner was one of the key highlights of the Goathead’s inaugural season in Buffalo. A memorable overtime winner on its own, that series win was a preview of things to come for the franchise in the coming seasons.
Ryan Miller’s Gem vs. Ottawa
Game two, 2006 Eastern Conference semi-finals. The Sabres are on the heels of a 7-6 barnstorming game one where goaltending was optional and the teams traded a trio of goals over the final 1:37 of regulation. Ryan Miller answered his .818 game one save percentage with one of the most impressive post season performances by a Sabres goalie.
Miller turned in 43 saves as the Senators more than doubled Buffalo’s shot output for the game. It was a tremendous outing and a win which helped shift the series in Buffalo’s favor ahead of JP Dumont’s game three heroics.
Rob Ray Eastern Conference Final GWG
Buffalo’s run to the Cup Final in 1999 will long be remembered as one of the very best seasons of Sabres hockey in franchise history. Knocking off the team’s fiercest rivals in the Conference Final was a cherry on top of an incredible spring of Sabres hockey. Dispatching the Leafs in five games made it that much sweeter. Rob Ray scored what would go down as the game winning goal in game four of the series. A between the legs beauty which poured that much more salt on the Leafs wound.
Not much to say about this one. A seminal moment of that 2005-06 run. An all-time moment in franchise history.
Grosek and Brown’s OT Winners
The Flyers have been a persistent thorn in the Sabres’ side many times in the postseason. Both Michal Grosek and Curtis Brown played a role in exorcising some prior playoff demons with OT winners against Philadelphia. Grosek’s was a series winner after getting dispatched in five games by the Flyers. Brown’s featured a memorable call from Rick Jeanneret and put the Sabres on track for one of their most dominant series close out wins in 2001.
Of course, the most notable memory in recent franchise history came from Jason Pominville’s series clinching goal against Ottawa. The shorthanded tally which spawned one of Jeanneret’s greatest calls in his illustrious history. It was an incredible goal which only increased the fever pitch the region had for the team that summer.
Danny Briere Double OT Winner
That 2006 run was filled with magical moments. Briere’s winner didn’t only cap a thrilling game one but served as a massive payoff after a year-long lockout and a slow build to playoff contention for the Sabres. It was also a spark for the team’s incredible run that year and a wonderful way to kick off one of the best stretches in franchise history.
Where to begin. Hasek’s most memorable and notable play came in the stretch between 1996 and his departure in 2001. He was the face of the franchise, the best player in the world over that span of years and he did it in Buffalo wearing the Goathead. He defined that era of Sabres hockey and in many ways the black and red uniform is synonymous with his time in Buffalo while he was at the top of his game.