Carolina 3 – Buffalo 1
Friday, January 25, 2013
First Niagara Center
BUFFALO, NY – Jay Harrison’s point shot with 4:50 left in the third period was the game winner as the Carolina Hurricanes capped off a home-and-home sweep of the Buffalo Sabres with a 3-1 win on Friday at First Niagara Center. Eric Staal won a faceoff to the left of Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, and Harrison floated a seeing-eye wrist shot through a crowd for his first of the season. Thomas Vanek broke a scoreless tie at 1:56 of the third period by bullying his way to the front of the Hurricanes net to collect his third goal of the season and team-leading ninth point. But Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner would also score for Carolina, who have now won two straight after starting the season 0-2. Ryan Miller turned aside 39 Hurricanes’ shots in his first loss of the season, and the Sabres evened their record at 2-2 through four games.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Concludes Buffalo’s second of nine sets of back-to-back games; 1-1 in first game; 1-1 in second game; they have swept one series, and been swept in the other… The loss was Buffalo’s first at home since a 5-3 setback on March 30 of last season against Pittsburgh… Buffalo struggled yet again in the faceoff circle, winning just 23 of 65 (35%) draws on the night... Sabres are 0-2-0 when tied after one, and 1-1-0 when tied after two… The Sabres are now 96-65-24 all-time against Carolina in 185 games; 54-30-8 at home… Buffalo is 14-8-4 against Carolina since their 2006 Eastern Conference Finals series… Vanek leads all Sabres with 29 points (12+17) in 28 career games against Carolina.
Points: Vanek (3-6-9/4 gms), Pominville (3-5-8/4 gms), Ehrhoff (0-3-3/3 gms)
Assists: Ehrhoff (0-3-3/3 gms)
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Andrej Sekera, 22:18
Shots: Cody Hodgson/Thomas Vanek, 6
Blocked Shots: Sekera, 2
Faceoff Wins: Hodgson, 10
Total Faceoffs: Hodgson, 21
Hits: Robyn Regehr, 5
Thomas Vanek’s goal early in the third period snapped an 0-for-12 run on the power play, and the Sabres finished the night converting on one of four opportunities. They are now 4/19 (21.1%) on the season, and are among the leaders in total power play time at 31:12 in four games. Carolina scored a pair of power play goals on five chances, including Jeff Skinner’s empty netter at 19:34, dropping Buffalo’s overall PK to 80% (16/20).
In the quietest of his four games so far, rookie Mikhail Grigorenko had just 6:48 of ice time – with all seven of his shifts coming in the first two periods. Grigorenko played 4:54 on five shifts in the first, followed by 1:54 on two shifts in the second. He was able to show off his playmaking skills very early in the contest, feathering a perfect saucer pass to a streaking Andrej Sekera during a four-on-four situation, but the Sabres defenseman was unable to convert the glorious scoring opportunity.
Thomas Vanek missed part of the second period with what head coach Lindy Ruff said was a muscle strain... Defensemen TJ Brennan and Mike Weber were healthy scratches for the third game in a row, along with forward Matt Ellis.
* Sunday @ Washington, 3 p.m.
* Tuesday vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
* Thursday @ Boston, 7 p.m.