May 30, 2006 -- The Buffalo Sabres were one shot from elimination on this night. They were down, three games to two, against Carolina in the Eastern Conference finals, and they were in overtime.
But they weren't done yet.
The cheers must have been mixed with exhales when the Sabres defeated Carolina, 2-1, in Game Six in HSBC Arena. Daniel Briere was the hero of the night. He socred a power-play goal at 4:22 of overtime to keep the Sabres alive. Briere's shot sort of flipped over the goal line after goalie Cam Ward couldn't grasp it.
"That's the first step," Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell said. "Now we gotta finish it off. We got another game Thursday."
Next stop, Game Seven, in Carolina. Considering that the Edmonton Oilers were waiting, it seemed at least likely that the winner of that game would win the Stanley Cup that year.
"Nobody is blind here," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "Everybody knows what is at stake. It's a trip to the finals. Now our back is up against the wall, but it's in our building, which is where we want it to be."
--- Budd Bailey