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Hurricanes take notice

October 29, 2006|From the Associated Press

To a man, the Carolina Hurricanes said the Buffalo Sabres provided the stiffest test in their run to the Stanley Cup title last season.

The Hurricanes had to rally in the third period of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals to advance. Now, only three weeks into this season, the Sabres appear to be the biggest threat to take Carolina's title away.

"It's a great compliment coming from the champs," Sabres co-captain Chris Drury said, "but sorry, it doesn't make me feel any better for losing."

Buffalo carried a 10-0 record into this weekend, only the second team to start that fast in NHL history, and already owned two wins over the defending champs.

"They certainly get up to play us," Carolina forward Kevyn Adams said. "There is certainly a rivalry now, and those are big games."

The Hurricanes defied all kinds of predictions last season, many that listed them among the bottom teams in the NHL. The Sabres were already the fashionable pick to reach the finals this season, even before their perfect start.

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