February 19, 1972 -- When the Buffalo Sabres came into the league in 1970, their best rookie was Gil Perreault. The flashy skater was their first overall draft choice. He could score too; Perreault's 38 goals that season broke the record previously held by three players.
Surely the Sabres wouldn't be so lucky the next season with a rookie.
Oh, but they were. Rick Martin was the team's first round pick in 1971, and he was even better when it came to putting the puck in the net.
Martin scored goal number 39 as the Sabres lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, in Maple Leaf Gardens. Martin picked a hockey legend to beat, as Jacques Plante was in the Toronto net. The assist went to Al Hamilton.
Darryl Sittler took much of the spotlight from Martin in that game. He scored the last three goals of the game. The Leafs finished with a 43-33 edge in shots that night.
Martin went on to score 44 goals that season and start a career that might have put him in the Hall of Fame had it not been for a bad knee injury.
--- Budd Bailey