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SABRES ADVANCE TO TRAVERSE CITY TITLE GAME

A 7-4 win over Carolina puts Buffalo in championship game against Detroit on Monday

Sunday, 09.08.2013 / 8:28 PM / News
By Chris Ryndak  - Sabres.com
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SABRES ADVANCE TO TRAVERSE CITY TITLE GAME
The Sabres defeated the Hurricanes prospects 7-4 on Sunday and will face the host Detroit Red Wings in the championship game Monday at 7:30 p.m.

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. – The Buffalo Sabres' squad of prospects held off another third-period rally in the NHL Prospects Tournament and now find themselves one win closer to becoming back-to-back champions.

The Sabres defeated the Carolina Hurricanes prospects 7-4 at Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, Mich. on Sunday and will face the host Detroit Red Wings in the championship game Monday at 7:30 p.m. The Red Wings have never won the title in the tournament’s 14-year history.

Buffalo defeated the New York Rangers to win it all in 2011, the last time the tournament was held.

Five Sabres had a multi-point night against Carolina and they were led by the top line of left wing Zemgus Girgensons, center Johan Larsson and right wing Joel Armia. Girgensons finished with a goal and two assists while Larsson recorded a goal and a helper.

“It probably hasn’t shown up on the score sheet as much as they would like to have, but they control the game for us in both ends of the rink,” coach Chadd Cassidy said of Girgensons and Larsson. “Whenever we get into trouble, they’re the guys you send out there that can kind of steady the ship a little bit. It was great that they could get some reward for that.”

We came here and we talked about winning and now we’re in the finals. Of course we’re going for it.Johan Larsson

Larsson and Gigrensons have also been key penalty killers during this tournament. However, Buffalo has struggled with that aspect of special teams play so far. The Hurricanes scored three goals with the man advantage in the second period to cut Buffalo’s 4-0 lead to 4-3.

Friday night, the Rangers used their power play to battle back from a three-goal deficit and tie the game late against the Sabres. Buffalo eventually won that game in overtime.

Cassidy became more selective in which players he chose to put out on the penalty kill after those Hurricanes goals and the Sabres killed off the two Carolina power play opportunities in the third period.

“If you take three stupid penalties then they get back in the game,” Larsson said. “So we definitely have to think about that [for Monday]. The Red Wings are going to be better, I think.”

Armia has yet to score in the tournament, but coach Chadd Cassidy hopes to see him on the score sheet soon.

“He’s gotta get heated up. If we’re going to be successful [on Monday], he’s probably going to be a big part of that,” Cassidy said.

Buffalo’s second line has been red-hot and has allievated some pressure from other players who may not be putting the puck in the net just yet.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc

Daniel Catenacci picked up a pair of assists and Nicholas Baptiste extended his point-streak to three games. Baptiste had a goal and two assists. He’s scored in all three games in the tournament.

Their linemate Eric Locke also had a goal and an assist. Locke’s goal with 7:27 left in the second ended the Carolina rally and gave Buffalo some much-needed breathing space.

Defenseman Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, right wing Justin Bailey and left wing Peter Trainor also scored for Buffalo.

The defense played without captain Chad Ruhwedel, who is day-to-day with an upper body injury. Larsson wore the “C” in his stead on Sunday. Gauthier-Leduc served as an alternate and stepped up in a big way for the team, sliding into Ruhwedel’s spot on the blue line alongside Brady Austin.

“I thought [Gauthier-Leduc] was outstanding,” Cassidy said. “He was a physical presence, which is something that he’s added into his game. Obviously he had a great goal there. We really saw a lot of leadership from him tonight in terms of how we wanted the other guys to play.”

Gauthier-Leduc said after the game he didn’t feel any added pressure to play a bigger role with Ruhwedel out.

“We’ve got a good D corps and I think they all played pretty well,” Gauthier-Leduc said.

Brock McGinn scored twice for Carolina. Trevor Carrick and Sergey Tolchinsky had the other goals. Daniel Altshuller stopped 28 shots.

Connor Knapp started in goal for Buffalo and made 26 saves. Cassidy has not yet decided which of the team’s three goaltenders will start against Detroit. Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov won in their starts as well. Lieuwen was the winning goaltender in the 2011 championship game.

The Sabres can now focus on the championship game Monday night and on the prospects of celebrating with the trophy again.

“We came here and we talked about winning and now we’re in the finals. Of course we’re going for it,” Larsson said. “But I know the Red Wings are good and this is their barn here, so it would be fun to go out there and take the title.”

The championship game can be heard live on 1520 AM and at Sabres.com. Face off is at 7:30 p.m.


SCORING PLAYS

First Period
1-0 Buffalo Sabres - JOHAN LARSSON (power play) (ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS) 9:02
2-0 Buffalo Sabres - JEROME GAUTHIER-LEDUC (ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS) 10:12
3-0 Buffalo Sabres - NICHOLAS BAPTISTE (DANIEL CATENACCI, ERIC LOCKE) 11:43

Second Period
4-0 Buffalo Sabres - ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS (JOHAN LARSSON) 4:03
4-1 Carolina Hurricanes - TREVOR CARRICK (power play) (RYAN MURPHY) 6:35
4-2 Carolina Hurricanes - BROCK McGINN (power play) (RYAN MURPHY, SERGEY TOLCHINSKY) 11:27
4-3 Carolina Hurricanes - BROCK McGINN (power play) (unassisted) 12:11
5-3 Buffalo Sabres - ERIC LOCKE (DANIEL CATENACCI, NICHOLAS BAPTISTE) 12:29

Third Period
6-3 Buffalo Sabres - JUSTIN BAILEY (COLIN JACOBS) 6:04
6-4 Carolina Hurricanes - SERGEY TOLCHINSKY (BROCK McGINN, RYAN MURPHY) 9:13
7-4 Buffalo Sabres - PETER TRAINOR (empty net) (NICHOLAS BAPTISTE) 18:31


LINEUPS

BUFFALO
Zemgus Girgensons
Johan LarssonJoel Armia
Eric Locke
Daniel CatenacciNicholas Baptiste
Kevin Sundher
Colin JacobsLogan Nelson
Peter Trainor – Justin KeaJustin Bailey

Brady AustinJerome Gauthier-Leduc
Nikita Zadorov
Rasmus Ristolainen
Alex Lepkowski
– Connor Boland

Connor Knapp
Nathan Lieuwen


CAROLINA
Brock McGinn – Elias Lindholm – Sergey Tolchinsky
Erik Karlsson – Victor Rask – Adam Brace
Brendan Woods – Brody Sutter – Stephen Pierog
Brent Pedersen – Hunter Garlent – Zack Mitchell

Trevor Carrick – Ryan Murphy
Danny Biega – Beau Schmitz
Austin Levi – Tyler Ganly

Daniel Altshuller
Austin Lotz

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82