Hurricanes vs. Sabres
The first three games were decided by one goal. In Game 5, the Hurricanes rallied from a two-goal deficit and sent the match into OT where Cory Stillman scored to give them a 4-3 win and a three-games-to-two edge. But the gritty Sabres, who'd lost four regular defensemen and center Tim Connolly to injury, dug in and won Game 6 at home, 2-1 in OT, moving `Canes captain Rod Brind'Amour to address his team in the dressing room afterward. Game 7 then added to Buffalo's history of playoff heartbreak as the Hurricanes overcame a 2-1 deficit with Brind'Amour breaking a 2-2 tie by beating the Sabres' rookie netminder, Ryan Miller, at 11:22 of the third period. Carolina's rookie goalie, Cam Ward, made the lead stand up in a 4-2 victory that sent the `Canes to the final where they won their first Stanley Cup.