In some ways it feels like forever ago, since the words "Sabres" and "playoffs" haven't been in the same sentence for a while.
But in some ways it feels like, can it really be 10 years ago?
In the spring of 2006, the Buffalo Sabres took the city on quite a ride. Here's a look back, via our section's front pages:
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals preview
April 22, 2006: The playoff run started with a bang -- the biggest one in team history. Brian Campbell's crushing overtime hit on R.J. Umberger will forever live in Sabres lore. Daniel Briere showed he could be a playoff dynamo with a winner in double overtime.
April 24, 2006: The Sabres ran the Flyers out of the building with five goals during the first period. Fans mocked Philly goalie Robert Esche, who made the U.S. Olympic team instead of Ryan Miller.
April 26, 2006: Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg scored twice and assisted on an empty-net goal as the Flyers treated their home fans to a victory.
April 28, 2006: The Sabres opened a two-goal lead in the opening 10 minutes, but the Flyers roared back. Umberger generated a positive highlight for himself by scoring the third-period goal that put Philly up for good.
May 2, 2006: The Sabres silenced the Philly fanatics and sent the Flyers home for the summer with another offensive explosion. Six players -- Mike Grier, Ales Kotalik, Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Maxim Afinogenov and Chris Drury -- scored during the first two periods to put the Flyers away.
Eastern Conference Semifinals preview
Bucky Gleason's series prediction | Don't tell Sabres they're underdogs by Jerry Sullivan | Up next, the beasts of the East by John Vogl | Briere plays with the heart of a giant by Jerry Sullivan | Roy gives Drury-Grier pairing some legs by Tim Graham | Young team reaps benefits of first-round hiccups by Bob DiCesare | Bucky Gleason's playoff preview (other series)
May 5, 2006: The Sabres refused to fold. Five times the Senators took the lead at home, and five times the Sabres tied the game, including a goal by Connolly with just 11 seconds left. Drury's goal just 18 seconds into overtime stunned the Senators. Larry Quinn, then the managing partner of the Sabres, entered the press-box elevator nearly at a loss for words. The lone exception was a religious expletive he kept repeating. He wasn't alone.
May 8, 2006: Miller stopped 43 shots, including all 15 he faced in the third period, as the Sabres withstood the Senators' attempt to tie the series. The opening minute altered the career of Connolly forever. After recording five goals and 11 points in the opening seven games of the playoffs, he absorbed a crushing hit from Peter Schaefer that kept him out for 11 months with a concussion. He played 28 more playoff games in his career and didn't score once.
May 10, 2006: J.P. Dumont's sixth goal of the playoffs came 5:05 into overtime and put the Sabres on the brink of a huge upset. The Senators' Jason Spezza scored twice in the third period, including the tying goal with 1:30 to play, but it didn't prevent Ottawa from falling in a 3-0 hole.
Tim Graham's game story | Jerry Sullivan's column | Bucky Gleason: Hasek stars in role of drama king | Sens finding 3-0 hole difficult to take by John Vogl | John Vogl's notebook: Broken ankle forces Kalinin to sidelines
May 11, 2006: The brooms went unused as the Sabres lost at home for the first time during the playoffs. Senators goalie Ray Emery stopped 29 of 30 shots to keep Ottawa alive.
May 13, 2006: Pominville became a Sabres legend and Rick Jeanneret added to his Hall of Fame resume as Buffalo ended the series in overtime. With the Sabres short-handed, Pominville skated around Daniel Alfredsson, cut to the net and deposited the game-winner. It led Jeanneret to exclaim, "Oh now do you believe? Now do you believe? These guys are good -- scary good!"
Eastern Conference Finals preview
If a puck is dropped in Carolina, does it make a sound? by Bucky Gleason
Golisano's tenacity is on the money by Jerry Sullivan
Room monitors keep Sabres focused by Bucky Gleason
Ruff's suggestion becomes a building block by John Vogl
Hurricanes got their man in Ward by Bob DiCesare
Tim Graham's notebook: Ruff plays king of the road in postseason
May 20, 2006: In the Sabres' ninth victory during the postseason, defenseman Jay McKee became the eighth player to record a game-winning goal. Miller made 16 of his 29 saves during the third period as Buffalo won on the road. The Sabres lost defenseman Teppo Numminen to injury in what would become an unbelievable trend
May 22, 2006: The Hurricanes opened a 4-1 lead and held on to even the series at 1-1. The Sabres made it close with two late power-play goals, including one by Roy with three seconds left.
May 24, 2006: The Sabres chased goalie Cam Ward with four goals in the opening 33 minutes. Co-captains Drury and Briere both scored, with Drury recording his eighth goal of the playoffs and Briere potting Nos. 6 and 7.
Drury takes charge when needed, as usual by Jerry Sullivan
Hurricanes lament string of bad penalties by Bob DiCesare
Sabres' big hits electrify the crowd by John Vogl
John Vogl's notebook: Tallinder suffers broken arm
May 26, 2006: After stepping in for Ward during the previous game, goalie Martin Gerber turned aside all 22 shots he faced as Carolina evened the series at 2-2. The Sabres gave up four goals with defensemen Henrik Tallinder, Dmitri Kalinin and Numminen sidelined.
Gerber gives Hurricanes needed boost by Bob DiCesare
'Canes perfecto is one for the road by Mike Harrington
Afinogenov not giving the max by John Vogl
John Vogl's notebook: Ruff points to power play
May 28, 2006: Carolina erased a 3-1 deficit then won in overtime as Cory Stillman scored with 8:46 gone. The Sabres had won the opening four overtime games of the postseason. They fell into a series hole for the first time, too, with Carolina taking a 3-2 lead.
Stillman trumps Sabres' effort by John Vogl
John Vogl's notebook: Numminen still out, Lydman steps up
May 30, 2006: Briere sent the Sabres to Game Seven, scoring in overtime to keep Buffalo alive. J.P. Dumont opened the scoring, and Carolina finally broke through to tie the game with 3:53 left. Briere's shot from the top of the circle hit the glove of Ward, bounced up and trickled over the goal line. "There's room on the believers' bandwagon," Jeanneret said. "It's leaving for Game Seven in Carolina."
Briere needs no guarantee to get the job done by Jerry Sullivan
Goalie stood tall for Canes by Bob DiCesare
John Vogl's notebook: Weight says Pominville fooled officials on penalty
June 1, 2006: The Hurricanes scored three times in the third period, including the power-play winner with 8:38 to go when Rod Brind'Amour banged home a loose puck sitting in front. Buffalo was short-handed after Brian Campbell got dinged for shooting the puck over the glass -- "stupidest thing ever," Miller said of the new rule. The Sabres, already without three defensemen, couldn't survive the loss of another. McKee failed to make the trip to Carolina after suffering an infection in his leg.
"One thing is we've never used excuses all year," Briere said. "We're not going to start now. We got beat, and that's the end of it.
"When we look back I'm sure we'll be very proud of what we did and where we went with this team that nobody believed in from the start."
Sitting doesn't suit McKee by Tim Graham
A frozen moment lingers for Fitzpatrick by John Vogl
John Vogl's notebook: Miller blasts rule that sent Campbell to penalty box