Carolina’s second-round opponent was the Montreal Canadiens, one of the (if not the) most storied franchises in professional hockey. The series got off to a fortuitous start with the Hurricanes picking up a 2-0 victory on the back of a 25 save shutout by Weekes.
The next two games featured much less desirable results with the Hurricanes being outscored 6-2. Montreal went into Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead on home ice. The Canadiens were poised to take a stranglehold on the series, leading 3-0 as the third period started.
Cue the dramatic music.
The final period of regulation saw the birth of what quickly became known as the “Molson Miracle“. Goals from Sean Hill, Bates Battaglia, and Erik Cole tied the game and shocked the Montreal faithful. While the team had shown flashes, this game showed that the Hurricanes had something special going and, with overtime looming, looked to be primed to win the game.
Enter “The Secret Weapon”.
Nic Wallin flung a shot from the point that found its way past Jose Theodore at 3:14 of the first overtime. Just like that the series was tied and the fickle mistress known as momentum on the side of the Hurricanes. They went on to win games five and six by a combined score of 13-3 and punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals.
There, they would face another storied, Original Six franchise.