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SABRES CLASSIC CLIP OF THE WEEK

Thursday, 04.23.2009 / 12:20 PM / Features
By Erin Pollina  - Sabres.com
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SABRES CLASSIC CLIP OF THE WEEK
Jerry Korab (Photo: Getty Images)
It may not have counted in the standings, but the Buffalo Sabres encounter with the Soviet Wings in 1976 had the atmosphere of a playoff game.

At the height of the Cold War, coinciding with Russia’s growing hockey reputation, the NHL began experimenting with an eight-game “Super Series” between their teams in North America and the top two seeds of the Soviet Elite Hockey League – namely the Soviet Central Red Army (CKSA Moscow) and the Soviet Wings (Krilija Soviet Moscow).

Stemming from the revered 1972 Summit Series, in which Team Canada defeated the Soviets in Moscow, the NHL felt the publicity the Russian teams were getting were unfair. While the Russians had largely dominated international play since the 1950s, the NHL argued that it was because the Soviets were professionals and faced mostly amateur teams.

In 1975 the NHL finally agreed to a showdown. The two Russian teams would each play four games in the United States and Canada, mid-season.

In the first two games it looked as if the NHL was out of its league.

The Red Army destroyed the New York Rangers in the first game, 7-3. The Pittsburgh Penguins hardly fared better, losing 7-4 to the Wings.

On New Year’s Eve the Montreal Canadiens withstood the Russian’s fast play to hold on for a 3-3 tie in the third game of the Series, but still could not defeat the Red Army.

Then the Russians came to Buffalo.

On Jan. 4, 1976, the Sabres handed the Wings what turned out to be their worst defeat in international play - a 12-6 trouncing at Memorial Auditorium.

The game was among Buffalo’s most memorable performances to date with The French Connection – Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert – producing the offense with nine points (4+5) while Jerry Korab led with the physical play that the Russians could not overcome.

The Sabres slowed down the high-speed Soviets by plugging up the neutral zone and hammering them with hits along the boards. It was a style the Russians were unaccustomed to and one they could not conquer.

The loss was so bad that the Wings’ coach kept the team secluded for three days because of the embarrassment he was said to have felt.

The Sabres were the first – and among the few – to defeat them in the NHL.

The Russians went on to beat the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders, respectfully. In fact, the Soviets only lost one other game in the 1975 Super Series – a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers where the physical onslaught was again the deciding factor.



FIRST PERIOD
1. Buffalo Sabres - Guevremont (Spencer, Hajt) 6:10
2. Buffalo Sabres - Perreault (Korab) 7:10
3. Buffalo Sabres - Martin (Stanfield) 11:32
4. Krylya Sovetov - Repnev (Shalimov, Yakushev) 13:45 PPG
5. Buffalo Sabres - Martin 14:23
6. Krylya Sovetov - Kapustin (Kotov) 19:16
Penalties: Shadrin, Ramsay 0:36, Repnev, Fogolin 11:21, Korab 11:45.
SECOND PERIOD
7. Buffalo Sabres - Lorentz (Gare, Guevremont) 4:32 PPG
8. Buffalo Sabres - Robert (McNab) 5:32
9. Krylya Sovetov - Repnev (Kapustin, Kuznetsov) 5:59
10. Buffalo Sabres - Korab (Martin, Perreault) 8:26 PPG
11. Krylya Sovetov - Shalimov 8:40
12. Buffalo Sabres - Gare (Stanfield, Korab) 11:44
13. Buffalo Sabres - McNab (Martin, Spencer) 13:17
Penalties: Kapustin 2:49, Terehin 7:55, Korab 14:41, 19:45.
THIRD PERIOD
14. Krylya Sovetov - Kapustin (Kuznetsov) 3:28
15. Buffalo Sabres - Stanfieid (Martin, Perreault) 9:41
16. Krylya Sovetov - Lebedev, (Babinov, Krikunov) 11:32
17. Buffalo Sabres - Gare (Stanfield, Ramsay) 14:04
18. Buffalo Sabres - Spencer (McNab, Robert) 18:04 PPG
Penalties: Shadrin 6:08, Sidelnikov (served by Shalimov),
Spencer 6:30, Guevremont 6:52, Kuznetsov 7:20, Tyurin 17:14.
Shots:
Sidelnikov - Kylikov (Krylya Sovetov) 17 17 12 - 46
Desjardins (Buffalo) 9 7 6 - 25

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82