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Hurricanes try to start win streak vs. Sabres

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try for back-to-back wins on Thursday night when they visit the lowly Buffalo Sabres for a battle at First Niagara Center.

The Hurricanes played Wednesday in Philadelphia and recorded a 3-2 victory thanks to Jiri Tlusty's third-period goal. The contest was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but a winter storm caused the game to be postponed a day.

The postponed game in Philly also caused Carolina's next game to be pushed back so the Hurricanes wouldn't have to play on three consecutive days. The 'Canes were originally slated to host Ottawa on Friday, but that game will be played on Saturday instead.

Carolina led 2-0 on Wednesday before allowing the Flyers to even the score. However, Tlusty would produce the game-winner with 6:10 remaining in the third after putting the rebound of an Andrej Sekera shot from the point past Philadelphia netminder Steve Mason.

"The defense made a good shot through the traffic and it kind of bounced right in front of me. I was there by myself so I tried to put it up high and it went in," said Tlusty on his goal.

Alexander Semin scored in his third straight game and Nathan Gerbe also lit the lamp in the win. Gerbe's goal was of the highlight-reel variety, as he finished a breakaway by putting the puck between his legs and flipping a shot off Mason and into the net.

Anton Khudobin made 22 stops for the Hurricanes, who have won two of their last three and improved to 10-9-4 as the visiting team this season.

Carolina is also just three points behind Columbus for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets are hosting Philadelphia on Thursday.

The Sabres, who are last in the NHL with only 33 points, have lost their last four games. All four setbacks during the 0-2-2 slide have come by identical 4-3 margins, including Tuesday's regulation setback against visiting Florida.

Nick Bjugstad's second period tally proved to be the game-winner as the Panthers edged the Sabres at First Niagara Center.

Drew Stafford potted a pair of goals and also assisted on Steve Ott's third- period marker. Ryan Miller allowed all four goals on 22 shots.

"We need to really start to go back to the drawing board because there's not much else to say," said Stafford. "We need to clean a few things up and make sure we come out to a good start and if we do, bear down in our own end."

The Sabres have lost five of six and are just 8-13-6 over their past 27 trips to the ice.

Buffalo also has lost four straight on home ice and brings a 9-14-4 record as the host into the finale of a three-game stay in Western New York.

Although the Sabres and Hurricanes were supposed to meet on Jan. 7 in Buffalo that game was postponed due to a winter storm and rescheduled for Feb. 25. Carolina has claimed three straight and four of the last five meetings in this series overall and the 'Canes have won three of the past four encounters at First Niagara Center.

01/23 10:56:40 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal01st Prd 4:30 | Box
Tampa Bay0@theRink | TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim @theRink | TV: NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
4th
NOR 0
DUR 0
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
3rd
PIT 1
MIL 0
 
3rd
WAS 0
STL 0
 
3rd
CLE 0
TOR 0
 
2nd
DET 0
ANA 1
 
2nd
NYM 0
ATL 1
 
2nd
BOS 0
BAL 1
 
2nd
TAM 0
NYY 3
 
2nd
MIA 2
SEA 0
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
1st
TAM 0
MON 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
4th
NOR 0
DUR 0