Carolina 4 – Buffalo 3
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
RALEIGH, NC – Alexander Semin and Eric Staal each had three points, and rookie Justin Peters stopped 37 shots in his first start of the year, as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Tuesday at PNC Arena. The regulation loss was Buffalo’s first since February 23, and brought an end to their four-game point streak (3-0-1).
Cody Hodgson scored twice for the Sabres in a losing effort, while captain Jason Pominville added a pair of assists. TJ Brennan scored Buffalo’s other goal. Ryan Miller made 24 saves in his 14th consecutive start, and his record drops to 9-11-2. With the loss, the Sabres have reached the halfway point of the season with a record of 9-13-2.
Carolina got on the board first when Jiri Tlusty tipped home his 11th of the season at 1:31 to make it 1-0. With an assist on the goal, Eric Staal picked up his 600th career NHL point. Buffalo was outshot 12-6 in the first, with their best scoring chances coming from Kevin Porter and Marcus Foligno. Carolina doubled up Buffalo 12-6 in shots on goal.
A pair of highlight reel saves were the story of the second period, but Joe Corvo gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead on the power play when his wrist shot from the top of the circle appeared to get tipped past Ryan Miller at 12:17. Later in the period, Miller robbed Alex Semin with a spectacular glove save on a shorthanded 2-on-0 with Eric Staal. Minutes later at the other end of the ice, a sprawling Justin Peters reached back to steal a sure goal from Thomas Vanek, getting a piece of the puck with his blocker as it rolled on the goal line. After being outshot in the first period, Buffalo held a 16-12 advantage in the second.
The Sabres came out flying, and used a Cody Hodgson goal just 25 seconds in to cut Carolina’s lead in half. Thomas Vanek’s shot went high and wide, but the puck bounced in front to Hodgson and he made no mistake for his ninth of the year. It only took the Hurricanes 50 seconds to restore their two-goal lead, thanks to Jussi Jokinen’s fifth goal of the season at 1:15. Buffalo crept back within one at 14:33 on a power-play point bomb from TJ Brennan, but Carolina answered quickly yet again when Semin scored at 16:13 to put the Canes back up by a pair. Hodgson would make it interesting with an outstanding solo shorthanded effort with 34.3 seconds left, but that’s as close as Buffalo would get. The Sabres outshot Carolina 18-4 in the third period, including a 10-1 run at one point.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
Buffalo outshot Carolina 34-16 over the final two periods… Jason Pominville had two assists, and now occupies ninth spot in franchise history with 266… Cody Hodgson matched his career-high with seven shots on goal… The Sabres are now second in the NHL with four shorthanded goals… Steve Ott led both teams with eight hits; he sits second in the league with 109 – one behind Matt Martin… Rookie Brian Flynn had four shots on goal in 13:26 of ice time, and was 3-0 on faceoffs… The Sabres have yet to win a game this season when trailing after the first period (0-5-0)… 185th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo leads the series with a 96-66-24 record.
Thomas Vanek returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with an upper body injury… TJ Brennan was inserted into the lineup for the first time in six games; Brennan last played on Feb. 21 at Toronto… Adam Pardy and John Scott were healthy scratches… Jordan Leopold (upper body, 7 games), Alexander Sulzer (lower body, 5 games) and Ville Leino (hip, 24 games) are all on IR.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 22:43
Shots: Cody Hodgson, 7
Blocked Shots: Sekera/Regehr, 4
Hits: Steve Ott, 8
Faceoff Wins: Ott/Hodgson, 8
Total Faceoffs: Cody Hodgson, 22 (8-14)
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN...
Opponent scoring first: 2-9-1
Trailing after the first period: 0-5-0
Trailing after the second period: 2-9-1
Outshooting an opponent: 2-4-2
Overall: 10/87, 11.5%
Road: 3/43, 7.0%
Overall: 79/99, 79.8%
Road: 50/61, 82.0%
* Thursday @ New Jersey, 7 p.m.
* Sunday @ Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
* Tuesday vs. NY Rangers, 7 p.m.