Skip to Main Content
NHL Centennial

Martin Brodeur shares fondest playoff memory

Devils great recalls 4OT loss to Dominik Hasek, Sabres 23 years ago

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

Though Martin Brodeur won the Stanley Cup three times and played in the Stanley Cup Final five times, his favorite Stanley Cup Playoff memory is from a game he did not win. 

Brodeur, a 21-year-old rookie goaltender with the New Jersey Devils, went head-to-head with Dominik Hasek in a 1-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in a four-overtime thriller in Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on April 27, 1994. Hasek made 70 saves. 

Brodeur made 49 saves before Dave Hannan scored 5:43 into the fourth overtime for Buffalo to force Game 7. 

"I remember that game for whatever reason more than other games," Brodeur said. "I played in so many of them and we had some success and we had some great battles. Some of the games against the [New York] Rangers, we finally beat them in overtime in our building in [in Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Final] at the end of my career. That was a pretty special night to be able to do that to them in front of our fans. So there was a lot of different moments. 

"But that [Game 6 vs. the Sabres] was my first-ever playoff series and it was the first time I was going to be able move on, too. I couldn't do it [in that game], but I was able to do it in Game 7." 

Video: Memories: Hasek turns away 70 shots by the Devils

Brodeur, now an assistant general manager and goaltending coach with the St. Louis Blues, acknowledged that if the Devils hadn't defeated the Sabres 2-1 in Game 7 at Brendan Byrne Arena, his memories of Game 6 might not be as fond. 

"It's still a good memory even though it was in a loss," he said. "It just goes to show you never know when you get in the net and play a game what's going to happen, so you always have to be ready for everything." 

Brodeur, a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, always considered facing Hasek a challenge. In 1993-94, Hasek won the first of his six Vezinas and Brodeur won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie. 

"He kept you accountable," Brodeur said. "You know it's not going to be an easy game to win because he's not going to give up anything." 

Video: Dominik Hasek won Vezina Trophy six times, Hart twice

That was the case in that Game 6. Brodeur remembers Devils center Bernie Nicholls, who was a healthy scratch that night, telling him before each of the first three overtimes, "Marty, if you shut them out for another period, I guarantee you we're going to win." 

"And he said that three times to me," Brodeur said. "Then, before the fourth overtime, he goes, 'Kid, you're on your own. You've done enough. It's not up to you anymore.' Then, we lost." 

It was almost 2 a.m. when Hannan scored. A shot from the right circle by Sabres forward Jason Dawe was blocked by New Jersey's Valeri Zelepukin, but Hannan found the rebound and lifted a backhand in over a sprawling Brodeur for the winner. 

"Everything happened in slow motion," Brodeur said. "It was like, 'We've got to redo all that.' It was a similar feeling to when we played [the] Dallas [Stars in Game 5 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final] and Mike Modano scored in the third overtime. And I said, 'Oh no. Not again.' Then, we had to go to Dallas and we went to the second overtime before we finally won it. They wouldn't go away, these guys."

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.