Apr. 5, 1989 -- It was a very nice night for one of the good guys.
Jacques Cloutier got the start in Game One of the Stanley Cup playoff series between his Sabres and the Boston Bruins. Cloutier couldn't have done any better, pitching a 6-0 shutout right in Boston Garden.
Here's how Jim Kelley of The News described it:
All goaltenders begin their National Hockey League playoff careers with a 0.00 goals-against average. Precious and few are the ones who can keep it intact.
Jacques Cloutier is now one of the precious and few. Often unused and occasionally misused, the Buffalo Sabres goaltender-in-waiting made his longest wait worthwhile Wednesday, shutting out the Boston Bruins, 6-0, in his Stanley Cup playoff debut.
The site was Boston Garden. The witnesses numbered 14,488 and the win gave Buffalo a one-game lead in this best-of-seven Adams Division semifinal series -- but Clint Malarchuk is expected to start in goal [in Game Two].
Pierre Turgeon (one goal, three assists) was a big part of the story. So were Mike Foligno (two goals), Scott Arniel, Rick Vaive, Mike Ramsey, Phil Housley (two assists), Buffalo's special teams, the coaches' game plan, trainers and maybe even the transportation secretary. But on this night they all deferred to the little big man.
"For us this was four things," said Ramsey. "Hard work, good bounces, special teams and Jacques Cloutier. "Jacques has been around as long as I have (10 seasons) and he's a survivor. Everyone always says he's going to be traded or he's going to Rochester, but he's a gamer and he's a winner. People should never count him out. He's like a Cinderella, it just took him longer."
--- Budd Bailey