The Carolina Hurricanes closed out their home preseason schedule with a dominating performance and a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night in front of 8,890 at the PNC Arena.
Elias Lindholm scored a hat-trick and Cam Ward was solid in net while allowing just one goal on 20 shots.
The game could have started better for the home team as Chad LaRose, who was making his first start in Raleigh in over a year, was ejected from the game after boarding Josh Gorges, who was involved in the play which broke Jordan Staal's leg in Buffalo.
LaRose was given a 5 minute major and a 10 minute game misconduct for the hit.
The Canes were able to kill the long penalty though and actually took a 1-0 lead later in the period when Alexander Semin set up Nathan Gerbe during a pretty, two-on-one break. Jay McClement started the play with a pass from behind his own net to Semin.
Carolina made it 2-0 on a powerplay goal by Lindholm. The Swede zipped in a long rebound of an Andrej Sekera shot.
Less than a minute later, Gerbe made a pretty no look pass to Jeff Skinner, who was alone in the slot area. Skinner beat Michal Neuvirth, who went the distance for the Sabres. The goal made it 3-0 and the Canes were dominating.
Midway through the second, Lindholm scored his second on a nice shot as he skated in the Buffalo zone. He was hit in the nose on the play by his opponent's stick, but still got off his shot.
With the score 4-0, the Sabres finally got on the board later in the second with an open shot by Jake McCabe.
Lindholm got his hat-trick on an empty-netter with just 3:56 left in the game. Afterward, the youngster joked that he wished he could have saved some of those goals.
The Canes will practice at 12:30 Saturday, then close out their preseason schedule with a game in Washington on Sunday.
- After the game, Bill Peters said that of course he wished to have played Chad LaRose more and he will play him again in Washington, (barring any league action.)
- The Canes powerplay officially went 1-5 and continues to do well in preseason action.
- Carolina outshot Buffalo, 37-20. Once again Sekera led the way with five shots and Lindholm was next with four.
- Sekera and Semin wore the "A"'s tonight and both had good games. Might see more of that in the future.
- Tim Gleason had a team high three hits and his name was mentioned by Peters for being physical this game.
- Eric Staal led the team with three takeaways and won 68% of his faceoffs. Riley Nash won 79%, the team finished at 66%.
- The time on the ice was pretty evenly split this game. Jay Harrison had a team high 20:35 and Gleason was next with 20:22.
- Event Summary stat sheet