Buffalo goes to Stanley Cup finals

Archived from 1998-99 season.

1999 Playoffs



Maple Leafs

For the first time since 1975 the Buffalo Sabres are going to the Stanley Cup finals. The Sabres defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final and won the series four games to one.

"I feel proud of this team, but we have a long way to go," said Dixon Ward. "We haven't won anything yet. We weren't playing for that (Eastern Conference) trophy. We only care about one trophy."

The Sabres are going to the Finals full of confidence and their biggest asset, goaltender Dominik Hasek, healthy. Hasek missed the first two games of the Conference final with a groin injury.

"I'm very, very happy," Hasek said. "It's a great feeling. I think the difference was our experience. We're a very hungry team. We're a different team than last year. We know what it takes to win more than two rounds."

Tickets to the finals sold out in eight minutes in Buffalo Tuesday morning, angering hundreds of fans camped all night in the rain only to be told that all tickets to the Stanley Cup finals were sold.

Two fans picked up a metal barricade and rammed it into a locked glass door as arena employees and security officers waited for police to arrive.

The Sabres only previous appearance in the Stanley Cup finals was 1975 when they were beat by the Philadelphia Flyers four games to two.

"To win the last round will be harder than winning the first three," said Hasek. "It's great to get to the final, but our goal is to win."

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