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The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a memberThe Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes play their home games at the 18,680-seat PNC Arena. The franchise was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association (WHA). The Whalers saw success immediately, winning the Eastern Division in the WHA's first three seasons, as well as becoming the inaugural Avco World Trophy Champions to cap off the 1972-73 season. The Whalers again competed for the World Trophy in 1978, this time falling short to the Winnipeg Jets in a rematch of the 1973 Finals. The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL–WHA merger, renaming themselves the Hartford Whalers. The team relocated to North Carolina in 1997, rebranding themselves as the Hurricanes. Carolina advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 2002, where they were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings. The Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup over the Edmonton Oilers, giving the state of North Carolina its first major professional sports championship.
The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the AtlanticThe Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team based in Buffalo, New York. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team was established in 1970, along with the Vancouver Canucks, when the league expanded to 14 teams. They have played at KeyBank Center since 1996. Prior to that, the Buffalo Sabres played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium from the start of the franchise in 1970. The Sabres are owned by Terry Pegula, who purchased the club in 2011 from Tom Golisano. The Sabres have the longest active playoff drought in the NHL, at 8 seasons.The team has twice advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975 and to the Dallas Stars in 1999. The best known line in team history is The French Connection, which consisted of Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin and Rene Robert. All three players have had their sweater numbers (11, 7 and 14, respectively) retired and a statue erected in their honor at KeyBank Center in 2012. The Sabres, along with the Canucks, share the record for being the longest continuously running active NHL franchise to have never won the Stanley Cup.