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Hurricanes 4, Sabres 2

"Second line" comes up big again for Carolina

Jiri Tlusty celebrates his goal against the Sabres at the PNC Arena
Jiri Tlusty celebrates his goal against the Sabres at the PNC Arena
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

For awhile it seemed like the Carolina Hurricanes were going to dominate the shots-on-goal stat again against the Buffalo Sabres, and come up short, but on this night the Canes were able to bounce back from a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Sabres, 4-2 in front of 13,654 at the PNC Arena on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes put 55 shots on goal, with a franchise record 13 by Jeff Skinner himself.  Newly acquired goalie Michal Neuvirth was certainly busy, he made 51 saves, but the home team was able to break through with three goals in the third period for the win.

At the other side of the rink Cam Ward was not as busy, he made 21 saves on 23 shots, but he made some timely saves when they were needed.

The Sabres started this game very well and had the better of the play at the beginning.  They took a 1-0 lead on a Tyler Ennis penalty shot about midway through the first.  Jiri Tlusty was called for a slash on the play, he might have bumped Ennis a bit during the breakaway, and the ref told Tlusty that he had to call it.

The Canes came on stronger after that and Skinner evened the score just three minutes later on a close shot that fooled Neuvirth.

The second period was dominated by Carolina as they outshot the Sabres, 22-4, but they could not light the lamp.

Some fans started to get nervous when Drew Stafford scored, 8:43 into the third to give the visitors the lead.  Could this be one of those games which defied logic?  But the Hurricanes did not let up.

Alexander Semin would score a powerplay goal with 8:22 left in the game, the Canes were 0-4 with the man advantage up to this point, as his shot deflected past Neuvirth to make it 2-2.

Less than two minutes later, Semin would make a nice feed to Tlusty, who found an open spot in front of Neuvirth, and the Czech roofed it to light the lamp and give the home team the lead.  Jordan Staal was screening the goalie on the play.

Buffalo tried but they were unable to get another puck past Ward and Nathan Gerbe would score an empty-netter with less than a second left on the clock to ice it.

Next game for the Canes will be an afternoon affair in Boston on Saturday.

Game Notes:

  • Once again, the Canes dominated the shots on goal stat, 55-23.  After Skinner's 13, Semin was next with six. 
  • The team also dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 73%.  Jordan Staal led the team at 84%.
  • Andrej Sekera had a game high, 23:50 of time on ice.  He also led the team with four blocked shots.
  • The Canes had 22 hits, led by Tlusty with four.
  • How big are powerplay goals?  The powerplay goal by Semin tied the score.  If he doesn't score that one, would the Canes start to grip the sticks and fail to score again?