The Carolina Hurricanes faced the worst team in the league on Tuesday night and came up short as they were defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2. The Canes outshot the home team 38-18 but Ryan Miller made 36 saves as the Sabres earned just their 40th point of the season.
Cam Ward was in net for the first time since December 31st, but did not improve his .895 save percentage as he allowed three goals on 18 shots.
Carolina jumped on the Sabres fast and outshot them 21-9 in the first two periods, then 17-9 in the third, but Miller was the difference.
The Hurricanes also had five chances with the man advantage but they were not successful in that department, while Buffalo was 1-3 on their powerplay.
After a scoreless first period, Christian Ehrhoff shot a puck from the blueline that Ward got a glove on, but could not stop as the home team took a 1-0 lead on their first powerplay chance, early in the second.
Eric Staal tied up the game later in the period when he beat Miller five-hole on a rush. The goal came just seconds after a Carolina penalty expired and was close to being a shortie, but officially was even strength.
The Sabres took the lead again with 7:47 left in the game as Ward thought he had the puck stopped, but it was laying in the crease behind him. Tyler Ennis tipped it in.
Alexander Semin tied the game one more time with four minutes left as he skated the puck in the zone and zipped a beautiful shot past Miller.
It looked like it might end up a tie game, but with less than a minute left, Ehrhoff skated around the back of the Carolina net then rifled a shot toward the goal. The puck took a bad bounce for the Canes and went in the net off of Justin Faulk's stick for the game-winner.
The Canes will next travel to Dallas for a game against the Stars on Thursday night.
- Jeff Skinner had a team high seven shots on goal but could not solve Miller.
- John-Michael Liles had a team high 22:40 of ice time. Faulk was right behind with 22:33.
- The team won 57% of their faceoffs led by Jordan Staal with 67%.
- The Sabres had 24 hits to eight for Carolina and for the most part kept the crease clear for their goalie.