Niagara Gazette


December 29, 2006

THE '06 SIX: Pominville scores one for the ages

For a guy who’d committed a tripping penalty in overtime of an NHL playoff game, Jay McKee sure got a surprising reward.

McKee was the first to greet rookie Jason Pominville after the rookie winger scored perhaps the most memorable goal in Sabres history — certainly the most memorable in a decade — as Buffalo eliminated Ottawa in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

McKee had been sent off for tripping Daniel Alfredsson 40 seconds earlier. Then he watched from the penalty box as Pominville motored around Alfredsson and tucked a shot past Ray Emery.

“I saw him get around on the outside and my eyes just widened, and all of a sudden it was in and I got out of there as fast as I could,” McKee told the Associated Press. “I looked to my right and he was coming right for me so I just gave him a big bear hug and we got clobbered by the rest of the guys. It was a pretty neat feeling.”

The goal capped an improbable five-game ousting of preseason Cup favorite Ottawa and leading play-by-play man to the famous line, “Now do you believe?”

Sabres fall in Conference final

As fun a Pominville’s goal was, a 4-2 loss in Carolina in deprived Buffalo of its second trip the Cup finals in eight years.

The Sabres went into the third period with a 2-1 edge, but Doug Weight tied it less than two minutes in to the final stanza. Rod Brind’Amour’s goal from Justin Williams and Cory Stillman proved to be the difference as the Hurricanes went on to win the Cup.

Brind’Amour said following the game that his play had been lackluster before the goal.

“I should have been there sooner,” he told Gannett News Service. “The guys (Justin Williams and Cory Stillman) were fighting in front, and the puck just laid there.”

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