April 13, 2000 -- The Buffalo Sabres had gone on a couple of magical playoff runs prior to the 2000 postseason, reaching the conference finals twice and the Stanley Cup finals once. With Dominik Hasek in goal, the theory went, almost anything was possible.
It didn't take long to figure out that some of the magic had expired -- one game, in fact. The Sabres ran into an imposing Philadelphia team in the playoffs' opening round of the 2000 season.
It turned out to be a sign of things to come. The Flyers were in good form when they defeated the Sabres, 3-2 in the opener.
"We have a lot of character guys in this room, and I think it showed," center Daymond Langkow of the Flyers said to The News' Bucky Gleason . "We would rather be the underdog. I think the pressure is on them. Everybody is expecting them to win. There's definitely pressure on us. We'll see what happens."
Some hockey experts thought the Sabres were going to win that series. Eric Lindros was out with a concussion, while coach Roger Neilson was fighting cancer. Two power-play goals gave Phliadelphia a big boost.
"There's a reason why they finished first in the (conference)," Sabres defenseman Jason Woolley said. "They went through a lot this season. To still finish first says a lot about that team. We always have tough games with Philly. We know they're going to be close and it comes down to a bounce here or a bounce there."
-- Budd Bailey