#3: April 26, 2006- The Captain Turns the Series Around
I’ve already talked about Eric Staal’s game-winner in Game 3 against Montreal in 2006, but there’s a more important goal that came before it. Much like Jose Theodore had done during the “Molson Miracle,” Cristobal Huet was keeping the Canes off the board as Montreal looked to take a 3-0 series lead. Fortunately, the Canes hadn’t dug themselves a deep hole in the game, trailing 1-0 after two periods. Nothing had changed by the ten-minute mark, but it wasn’t long after that when Rod Brind’Amour showcased the magic we would see many times during the 2006 playoffs. The captain would poke a Bret Hedican bank pass around Sheldon Souray, and his stick would be just quicker than Craig Rivet’s as he poked the puck between the pads of Huet with 8:33 left in regulation to tie the game. This goal would set into motion a series of events that will forever be immortalized in the annals of team history. Brind’Amour’s goal forced overtime, and Eric Staal would win it on the power play, kickstarting the comeback. Without the captain’s heroics, the hole could’ve become impossible to escape, a familiar feeling we’d have a few times later in the playoffs.