Jan 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — FINAL: Eric Staal grabs an empty netter to solidify a hat-trick on the night and give the Canes a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
10:34, third period: Second goal for Eric Staal tonight gives the Canes a 5-3 lead over the Sabres with 10:34 to go in the game.
13:54, third period: Buffalo closes the gap with a Jason Pominville score. Canes still have a lead, 4-3 with 13:54 to go in the game
5:55, second period: Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal score back-to-back goals within a matter of seconds to take a two goal lead over Buffalo.
9:21, second period: Buffalo ties it with a Ehrhoff shot and Pominville deflection, Sabres tie it up 2-2 with 9:21 left in the second period.
11:10, second period: Cody Hodgson netted one for Buffalo to pull the Sabres within one of the Canes in the second period.
15:54, second period: Justin Faulk rips a slapshot on a shorthanded 3-on-1 past Sabres goalie Enroth. Canes lead 2-0.
18:58, second period: Jeff Skinner nets one on the back hand after assists from Zac Dalpe and Jordan Staal. The Canes go up 1-0 and have their first lead of the season.
First intermission: The Carolina Hurricanes came out skating with a lot more energy in the first against Buffalo. Midway through the first period it became a power play battle as each team traded penalties. Both teams came out of the first period scoreless, despite a combined 13 shots on goal.
The Carolina Hurricanes are off to their usual slow start. After losing the home opener 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team fell to 0-2 on the season. The Canes look for its first win of the season Thursday at the PNC Arena against the undefeated Buffalo Sabres.
The Hurricanes have been outscored 9-2 through two games and face a team in Buffalo built on stingy defense. The Sabres have beaten Philadelphia and Toronto to start the season behind the solid goaltending of Ryan Miller. Buffalo will give him the night off in Raleigh but that might not be a good thing for the Canes. Back-up Jhonas Enroth is 2-0-0, with a 0.49 GAA and one shutout in two games against Carolina. Cam Ward will make his third consecutive start for the Canes.
The Canes worked on getting to the front of the net during practice Wednesday, an area where head coach Kirk Muller says he team needs to play with more toughness, something missing from the first two games.
“It’s all about getting the puck and we haven’t done a good enough job, we got to be a tougher team to play against. Getting in front of shots, getting the pucks in the corners, win your battles, tough in front of the net, boxing out, all those areas that’s where we have to increase our level at,” said Muller.
Buffalo has become a tougher team from last season, trading for pesky center Steve Ott from Dallas and signing free agent bruiser John Scott. A quick thought is that the other brand of hockey toughness might be on display at the PNC Arena, aka a few fist-to-cuffs.
This is the first of a home and home with Sabres, the same teams will play Friday night in Buffalo.
• Defenseman Joe Corvo will be out of the line-up tonight, Jamie McBain will see his first action of the season.
• Jiri Tlusty has been moved back to the left wing of Eric Staal. Alex Semin remains on the right side of the Hurricane captain. So far the Staal/Semin Duo has combined for 0 goals, 1 assist, 17 shots and a minus 1 rating.
• The Hurricanes won the season series last year 2-1-1.