On this day in 2007, a historic moment happened for the franchise, and all these years later, it still thrills Buffalo Sabres fans.
Where were you on this day in the year 2007? I can tell you where I was. On May 4th 2007, I was at Game 5 in the second round of the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Buffalo Sabres were taking on the New York Rangers in Buffalo.
After winning Games 1 and 2, the Sabres lost Games 3 and 4, taking the series back to HSBC Arena for a pivotal Game 5. With the series tied at 2-2, the loser of this game would be facing elimination. The score would remain 0-0 going into the third period. That’s when everything changed.
With just a few minutes left, the Rangers would open the scoring as Martin Straka scored a goal that no one thought went in. But it would be 1-0 New York after video review showed the puck going into the net.
Time was ticking for the Sabres, who needed one last rally. With 16 seconds to go, the Sabres would call a timeout. After the timeout, Chris Drury would send Buffalo in a frenzy. With 7.7 seconds to go, Drury would find the back of the net, tying the game 1-1. I don’t care how many times I watch it, it still gives me chills 16 years later.
Thanks to Drury, Buffalo and New York would go into overtime and whoever won would have the key 3-2 series lead heading back to MSG. After killing off an early penalty in overtime, it was the Sabres turn to go on the man advantage.
May 4th, 2007 was a pivotal moment in Buffalo Sabres history
Maxim Afinogenov would not waste anytime as he would shoot the puck from the blue into the back of the net, giving the Sabres the victory and the all important 3-2 edge in the series.
Buffalo would win the series and would advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Without a doubt, this game is a top memory for me. I’m sure it’s on the list of other Buffalo Sabres fans as well. Just the timing of the goal, the situation and of course, it provided us with another legendary Rick Jeanneret call.
I cannot wait for playoff hockey to return to Buffalo. Being at this game was so cool and now that I am older, it sticks with me everyday, and it’s something that I will never forget. Hopefully, me and my other Sabres peers can experience this nostalgia very soon.