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Canes throttle Sabres, bust out of scoring slump

The Carolina Hurricanes really needed a win, and that’s exactly what they got in a dominant performance over Buffalo.

Teuvo Teravainen celebrates scoring during the game against the Buffalo Sabres, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 in PNC Arena.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Carolina Hurricanes needed that one.

The Canes busted out of their recent slump with an overwhelming performance against the Buffalo Sabres at home Saturday night, beating the Sabres 6-2 in a game where the Hurricanes had complete and total control.

It was a big night on the scoring docket for a lot of members of the Canes. Teuvo Teravainen had two goals, Vincent Trocheck broke out of a scoring drought with two assists and a goal (in two periods), Ian Cole tallied his first as a Cane and Sebastian Aho had three primary assists. Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas also scored.

For the Sabres, Henri Jokiharju and Zemgus Girgensons had the two tallies, both coming in the final minute of a period. Newly acquired Malcolm Subban was the losing goalie, while Antti Raanta stopped 32 of 34 shots faced to pick up the win for the Canes in a very good outing. Subban left the ice in the third period and was replaced by Aaron Dell.

The Canes also overcame some more hits to the roster, as Andrei Svechnikov was unavailable due to an upper-body injury. With Svechnikov and Jordan Martinook out of the lineup and Ethan Bear returning, the Hurricanes dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen Saturday night.

The first period was so nearly perfect for the Hurricanes, as Carolina commanded things on the ice and the score sheet for the first 19 minutes of the opening frame.

The Canes, who have so often in recent games gotten chances without results, got an early result, as Aho and Teravainen teamed up for a spectacular goal to make it 1-0 just 2:16 into the game.

Aho went to work behind the net to gather in a pass from Nino Niederreiter, smoothly backhanding a centering pass to Teravainen in the slot. The latter Finn buried it from out in front of the net, as Subban had no chance of stopping it.

After Buffalo had a goal called off after a review for kicking it in, the Canes made it 2-0 courtesy of Necas. Seth Jarvis dumped the puck into the zone towards Necas, who carried it towards the net with a burst of speed. Necas kept that speed with him around the backside of the goal, wrapping around to beat Subban low.

The call on the ice was initially no goal, but a video review gave Necas his fifth of the year.

Carolina came 32 seconds away from seeing the first period out with the 2-0 lead, but instead saw the Sabres make it a one-goal game on a redirection in front of net for Jokiharju that went off Cole.

The Canes came out of the first intermission blisteringly, notching three unanswered goals to make it a 5-1 game just over midway through the night. The first of three came from Cole, who finally scored on the right net for his first goal as a Hurricane.

Cole lasered a shot from the point past Subban after a big faceoff win from Trocheck, a perfectly placed snipe to make it 3-1.

And then 24 seconds after Cole’s tally, Trocheck made it 4-1 with another snipe. Trocheck, in the right place at the right time, gathered a bad defensive-zone turnover from the Sabres and laced it past Subban for the score.

A few minutes after that, Niederreiter broke free and got a great breakout delivery from Aho, skating to the net and slipping a nice little move in for the score.

But once again the end of the period went the way of the Sabres, as Buffalo tallied on the power play to make it a 5-2 game. Trocheck laid a heavy hit on Tage Thompson against the boards, receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct that was confirmed by a review.

The Sabres took advantage of the extended man advantage, scoring on another redirect goal again in the final minute of the period to get a little boost going into the intermission.

While the Trocheck hit was certainly a penalty, the major and game misconduct side of it were a bit questionable. And as they say, puck don’t lie.

Teravainen got his second of the night shorthanded, as Aho got out on a break and was denied by Subban. Aho collected the rebound and once again threaded one to the middle for Teravainen, who again finished off the chance to make it 6-2.

The Canes will now embark on another lengthy road trip, spending the next five games away from home, starting Tuesday night in Winnipeg.