3 late goals lift Hurricanes to comeback win over Sabres
Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty scored in a 1:55 span in the third period to give the Carolina Hurricanes the lead in their 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Semin tied it at 2 on a power play with 8:12 left, and Tlusty scored with 6:17 to go.
Jeff Skinner had a first-period goal — his 26th — to help Carolina win its second in a row after losing seven of eight. Nathan Gerbe had an empty-net goal with a second left.
Cam Ward made 21 saves, making his second consecutive start after backstopping the Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
Tyler Ennis scored on a penalty shot and Drew Stafford added a goal for Buffalo. Michal Neuvirth made a season-high 51 saves in his second start for the Sabres since being acquired in a trade with Washington on March 5.
Tlusty’s winner came after he took a pass from Semin, walked into the slot and beat Neuvirth with a wrist shot above the glove.
Stafford scored with 11:17 left to give Buffalo a short-lived 2-1 lead.
The Sabres’ Cory Conacher attempted a wrap-around on the play, but the puck bounced off the skates of Tlusty and Carolina defenseman Andrej Sekera in the crease before coming to Stafford at the side of the net. Stafford snapped it past Ward for his third goal in three games. He has nine goals in his last 15 contests.
Carolina tied it on Semin’s slap shot from the wing deflected off the skate of Buffalo defenseman Mike Weber in front of Neuvirth. It was only Carolina’s second power-play goal since the Olympic break. The Hurricanes came into the game mired in a 1-for-32 slump.
Buffalo opened the scoring midway through the opening period after Tlusty was called for slashing Ennis on a breakaway. Official Eric Furlatt called a penalty shot for the infraction, and Ennis beat Ward with a rising shot above his blocker.
The Hurricanes tied it little less than 3 minutes later when Skinner’s shot from a sharp angle went under Neuvirth’s blocker.
Carolina dominated for long stretches of the second period, outshooting the Sabres 22-4. But the Hurricanes couldn’t find a way to beat Neuvirth.
NOTES: Carolina D Joni Pitkanen said his recovery from a broken heel was progressing and that he hoped to play next year. Pitkanen has missed the entire season.
HURRICANES 4, SABRES 2
First Period_1, Buffalo, Ennis 17 (penalty shot), 10:22. 2, Carolina, Skinner 26 (R.Murphy, Lindholm), 13:20. Penalties_Semin, Car (hooking), 3:48; Conacher, Buf (holding), 17:42.
Second Period_None. Penalties_Buffalo bench, served by Conacher (too many men), 3:11; Tallinder, Buf (holding), 16:42; Ennis, Buf (slashing), 19:39.
Third Period_3, Buffalo, Stafford 13 (Conacher), 8:43. 4, Carolina, Semin 18 (Sekera, Jo.Staal), 11:48 (pp). 5, Carolina, Tlusty 12 (Semin, Jo.Staal), 13:43. 6, Carolina, Gerbe 14 (Dwyer, E.Staal), 19:59 (en). Penalties_Ehrhoff, Buf (tripping), 9:56; Skinner, Car (goaltender interference), 15:25.
Shots on Goal_Buffalo 12-4-7_23. Carolina 13-22-20_55.
Power-play opportunities_Buffalo 0 of 2; Carolina 1 of 5.
Goalies_Buffalo, Neuvirth 4-8-2 (54 shots-51 saves). Carolina, Ward 8-10-5 (23-21).
A_13,654 (18,680). T_2:27.
Referees_Eric Furlatt, Francois St. Laurent. Linesmen_Tim Nowak, Anthony Sericolo.