Zbynek Irgl scored the winning goal 7:58 into overtime as the Czech Republic pulled off a 4-3 victory over Russia in quarter-final action at the 2006 world hockey championship Thursday in Riga, Latvia.
Perhaps it isn’t the marquee television pairing that league beancounters were hoping for, but the Carolina-Buffalo Eastern Conference final series could turn out to be just the match up the NHL has been looking for.
Both teams play an exciting brand of hockey, with a hint of the proverbial Cinderella story thrown into the mix.
As long as Maxim Afinogenov is generating scoring chances, Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff won’t worry. However, he wouldn’t complain if some of those opportunities turned into goals for the flashy Russian forward. “I don’t think it’s anything more than just relaxing a little bit,” Ruff said after the Sabres practiced Thursday in advance of the Eastern Conference final.