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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Suddenly sick

   November 10, 1977 -- Ever hear of the Philly flu? There was an epidemic of it in the National Hockey League once upon a time.

   The Philadelphia Flyers were the toughest team in hockey during the 1970's. They'd beat you up on the ice, and then beat you in the scoreboard -- particularly at home. No wonder they won two Stanley Cups, one at the expense of the Buffalo Sabres. Sometimes, according to legend, players would develop flu-like symptoms at the thought of playing in the Spectrum, and mysteriously ask to be scratched from the lineup that night.

   The Sabres may not have had many cases of the Philly flu, but they had other problems there. During the first seven years of NHL play, they never won in Philadelphia.

   Finally, and almost mercifully, they took a 3-2 decision over the Flyers. Terry Martin scored the game-winning goal with 14 minutes left in the game. Craig Ramsay and Fred Stanfield had the other Buffalo goals. Don Edwards had 26 saves for the Sabres.

   That moved Buffalo's record in the Spectrum to 1-18-2 all time, if you include three playoff defeats. None of the Sabres from that era will shed many tears when that building gets blown up later this month.

--- Budd Bailey

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