October 23, 1970 -- Veteran fans of the Buffalo Sabres remember the team's first-ever game, a win in Pittsburgh. They remember the first home game, a loss to Montreal. But they don't remember the first home victory.
Here's a refresher course. After the Canadiens' game, the Sabres tied the Penguins. So they had to wait until this date to get a win in Memorial Auditorium.
For much of the game it looked as if the Sabres would come up empty against the Detroit Red Wings. The visitors had a 3-1 lead, with the Buffalo goal coming off the stick of Skip Krake.
Then the Sabres went to work. Gerry Meehan tallied late in the second period for Buffalo. Cliff Schmautz scored on the power play at 11:03 of the third period to tie the game up. That set the stage for Ron Anderson, who had a short-handed goal at 13:40 … unassisted, no less … to give the Sabres the win.
It was the first short-handed goal in Sabre history. Anderson already had put himself in the history books when he was on the ice for the first-ever faceoff by the team.
The victory may have gone to the Sabres' heads, so to speak. They lost their next seven games.
--- Budd Bailey