Eastern Conference Final
Sabres 2, Hurricanes 1 (OT)
Series tied 3-3
“We were fired up. We wanted to show people we were not a bunch of quitters.”
In past seasons, a playoff game settled by a power-play goal was a rare thing. In this series, we’ve now had two in a row.
For all the complaining Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff has done this postseason about the officiating, he had to be happy last night — in more ways than one. For one, his team received more man advantages than Carolina (five versus three) for the fourth time in the last five games, and this time the Sabres finally made good on their opportunities after going 0-for-8 in Games 4 and 5.
The story of the series, aside from the coaches’ war of words and Carolina’s goaltending carousel, has been special teams, where the Hurricanes are 6 for 26 (23%) on the power play and the Sabres are 6 for 30 (20%).
PPs: Buffalo, Carolina
Game 1: 0/3, 0/4
Game 2: 3/7, 2/5
Game 3: 2/7, 1/5
Game 4: 0/4, 1/2
Game 5: 0/4, 2/7
Game 6: 1/5, 0/3
Whereas the Sabres were downright deadly in Games 2 and 3, Carolina got the job done in convincing Game 4 and 5 wins. Buffalo had by far the better power play during the regular season — one of the best in the league, in fact — and that could be the difference in tomorrow’s Game 7.
One player to watch will be Sabres defenceman Brian Campbell, who has been thrust into a starring role due to his club’s injury woes on the blueline. Campbell’s been a lot better the past two games after struggling in the first four, going pointless and minus-6. Given the huge minutes he played in Game 6 (27:00), he'll have to be at his best tomorrow.