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Fond Farewell: Rick Jeanneret signs off for the final time

Sabres Hall of Fame broadcaster Rick Jeanneret called his final game in Buffalo's 3-2 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks at KeyBank Center.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's only fitting Rick Jeanneret's final game went to overtime. 

It's certainly fitting the Buffalo Sabres rallied to win 3-2 over the Chicago Blackhawks. 

After 51 years, why not extend and end things on a high note?

That's exactly how it went down Friday night at  KeyBank Center. 

Rick Jeanneret has now officially retired as the longest tenured broadcaster with a single team in the history of the National Hockey League. 

His calls are associated with so many of the great moments in the history of the franchise as much if not more than the players involved. Friday night proved to be a lasting and final moment as Buffalo rallied twice to tie the game at 2 and force overtime, before Casey Mittelstadt won it for Buffalo in the extra session. 

The last goal that RJ would call in his legendary career. 

"Cozens shot right on and he scores! Casey ... Casey at the bat ... Casey Mittelstadt hammers it home ... and Buffalo wins it in ooooovertime."

Classic RJ ... right to the finish. 

Before signing off, Jeanneret thanked his broadcast team, and then thanked the fans in his final words on his final broadcast. 

"I don't want this to sound like a eulogy but, eh ... it's more of a celebration really. Time passes for everyone. Eyesight fails, along with reaction timing. With me it works like the spirit is still willing, but the flesh is weak. It's the first time I've quoted the Bible. Thanks for traveling around with me on this road for the last half century. All of you ... thank you very kindly. It's been a hell of a ride."

With that he saluted the crowd and took his headset off.

Before leaving the building he went down to the ice for a curtain call. Fitting if you will on fan appreciation night, many of whom he visited with shaking hands and exchanging well wishes.   

A night of appreciation for so much about one of the great broadcasters and careers in the history of sportscasting. 

Talented young prospects have come to define the Sabres organization, along with a positive culture created and led by GM Kevyn Adams and head coach Don Granato.

There is optimism that an 11-year playoff drought might come to an end as early as next season, with greater expectations beyond that. 

Whatever success this franchise goes on to have, it will not be the same without the voice of Rick Jeanneret.

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