It was February 6th, 2008, and Western New York was stilllocked in the grip of Winter. Weathermen predicted that a storm would pass through Buffalo that night, but instead of snow, the city was pounded by a blizzard of sheer ice.
While most residents chose to stay off the frozen streets, there were a few that found it better to make their way to HSBC Arena. Rather than sit at home and outlast the brutal conditions, 18,690 people came together in downtown Buffalo to watch a hockey game between the Sabres and the visiting New Jersey Devils. Those fans got their money’s worth.
Michael Ryan sent the crowd into a frenzy only two minutes and thirty seconds into the first period. The call-up from the Rochester Americans was in the right place at the right time to deflect a Henrik Tallinder slapshot past Martin Brodeur and score his fourth goal of the year. Buffalo would proceed to dominate the rest of the period, holding New Jersey to only four shots on net.
Just over eight minutes into the second period, Jason Pominville put Buffalo ahead by two without any kind of stick-work whatsoever. Instead, he managed to redirect a missed pass from Daniel Paille as he crashed the net, and it was his skate that ended up bouncing the puck behind Brodeur.
The Devils benched initially went into an uproar, believing that Pominville executed an illegal kicking motion. But after a brief video review, the goal was upheld by the referees, and Pominville had his 14th of the season.
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