Thu, May 04, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Sabres cut their way into the conference semifinals

AP , PHILADELPHIA

Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller celebrates the Sabres' series-win over the Flyers after Game 6 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. The Sabres won 7-1 to take the series 4-2.

PHOTO: EPA

The Buffalo Sabres dominated from the first faceoff and earned a 7-1 win on Tuesday night that put them in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in five years and extended the Flyers' Stanley Cup drought to 30 seasons.

Chris Drury scored twice and Ryan Miller had 21 saves for the Sabres, who won the best-of-seven series in six games and will play Northeast Division-rival Ottawa in the second round.

Mike Grier, Alex Kotalik and Derek Roy all scored for Buffalo in the first period. The Sabres did what no team had done in the series -- win on the road. Buffalo took all three games at home and Philadelphia won Games 3 and 4.

Robert Esche, who allowed 22 goals and made 154 saves in the series, was replaced by Antero Niittymaki after giving up goals to Jason Pominville and Maxim Afinogenov that made it 5-0 in the second.

With 1:03 left in the period, Branko Radivojevic finally scored for the Flyers to make it 5-1. Drury answered 49 seconds later to restore Buffalo's five-goal advantage.

When Drury scored in the third it matched the worst home loss in Flyers playoff history.

Hurricanes 2, Canadiens 1, OT

At Montreal, Cory Stillman scored 1:19 into overtime and Carolina eliminated Montreal in six games.

After dropping the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home, Carolina roared back to win four straight -- three in Montreal.

The Hurricanes will face the Devils in the second round and have home-ice advantage.

Stillman took a pass from captain Rod Brind'Amour in the neutral zone and drove a slap shot from the top of the left circle over Cristobal Huet's left shoulder.

Rookie Cam Ward won his fourth straight start, stopping 25 shots. Mark Recchi scored his first goal of the playoffs for the Hurricanes.

Huet made 27 saves, many of which kept the Canadiens in the game, including a sensational right pad stop on Chad Larose in the final minute of regulation.

Sheldon Souray scored his third of the series on a power play in the first before Recchi tied it 1-1 just 30 seconds later.

Montreal has gone 13 years since winning the Stanley Cup, tying the storied franchise's longest drought between championships.

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