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Hurricanes blow past defenseless Sabres
Buffalo, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Alexander Semin and Andrej Sekera scored 2:25 apart in the third period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center.
Semin finished with two goals, Sekera added two assists and Anton Khudobin made 26 saves for a Hurricanes team that overcame three one-goal deficits to win for the third time in four games.
Jhonas Enroth stopped 28 shots for Buffalo, which has dropped five straight games (0-3-2).
"We're finding ways to lose hockey games rather than finding ways to win," said Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan.
Tyler Ennis gave the Sabres a 3-2 lead 48 seconds into the third, but the Hurricanes, as they did the entire game, fought back.
After not scoring on a four-minute power play, Carolina tied things up at the 7:25 mark. Jiri Tlusty applied a tenacious forecheck to create a turnover behind the Buffalo net and Eric Staal backhanded the puck out front to Semin, who beat Enroth for a second time.
Sekera, a former Sabre, then put the Hurricanes on top by firing a slap shot from the high slot along the ice and through the five-hole of Enroth at 9:50.
Tlusty added an empty-net goal in the dying seconds.
The Sabres drew first blood at 10:15 of the opening period. Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison misplayed the puck after Steve Ott chipped it out of the Buffalo zone. Cody Hodgson chased the puck down and beat Khudobin with a powerful slap shot from the right circle.
Jeff Skinner quickly countered for the Hurricanes, gathering a turnover in the neutral zone and whipping a backhander from the right circle past Enroth 2:13 later.
Buffalo grabbed its second lead when Brian Flynn swept in a rebound that Khudobin failed to cover up 3:20 into the second period.
Nearly ten minutes elapsed before Carolina answered back again. Semin weaved his way into the Buffalo zone on a delayed penalty and found the top left corner with a wrister from the right circle at 13:11.
Semin went off for hooking 12 seconds later, but the Sabres couldn't convert on the power play.
The Hurricanes were scheduled to face the Sabres in Buffalo on Jan. 7, but a blizzard postponed the contest until Feb. 25 ... Carolina has won four in a row against the Sabres for the first time since they were known as the Hartford Whalers (Oct. 26, 1988-Jan. 4, 1989) ... Semin has six goals in his past four games ... Sekera was a plus-4 ... Buffalo forward Philip Varone collected an assist in his NHL debut. He was leading the Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, with 33 points in 38 games when he was recalled on Wednesday.
01/23 21:58:38 ET