NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Carolina |
(Sunday, May 28th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Buffalo 3 (OT)
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Cory Stillman scored a power-play goal 8:46
into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a thrilling 4-3 win over the
Buffalo Sabres in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals at RBC Center.
J.P. Dumont of Buffalo was whistled off for hooking with 12:48 to go in
overtime giving the home team a chance to win in dramatic fashion.
On the ensuing power play, Matt Cullen cranked a slap shot from the left
point that deflected off a skate in front and off the boards to the left of
the net. The puck then quickly caromed out to the slot to Stillman, who
quickly fired the disc through the legs of Ryan Miller to give the
Hurricanes the win and a three games to two series lead.
"You'd like to score every time you get into overtime, I was in the right
place at the right time," said Stillman.
Martin Gerber, who posted a shutout in Game 4, allowed three goals on 11 shots
and was pulled in favor of Cam Ward early in the second period. Ward went on
to not allow a goal and made 15 saves, including some big stops late in
regulation and early in overtime as Carolina rallied from a 3-1 deficit to
Justin Williams, Mark Recchi and Rod Brind'Amour netted goals for the
Hurricanes, who have now won two straight games in the best-of-seven series.
Eric Staal picked up an assist for the 'Canes and extended his playoff point
streak to 15 games.
Chris Drury, Derek Roy and Toni Lydman were the goal scorers for the Sabres,
who did not score in four chances on the power play. Miller allowed four goals
on 26 shots in the loss.
"Disappointing to lose, but I am not disappointed with that game at all,"
said Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff. "I think that it's nothing to get
discouraged about with the effort we got tonight. I thought for the most
part we carried the play."
Game 6 will be played Tuesday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo where Carolina has the
chance to punch its ticket to the Stanley Cup finals with a victory.
Drury scored 7:08 into the contest to give the Sabres an early 1-0 lead.
Taylor Pyatt made a long outlet pass from his own end to Drury at the Carolina
blue line. Fighting off a defender trailing him, Drury ripped a slap shot from
the slot that beat Gerber low to the stick side.
Just 17 seconds later the Hurricanes responded with a goal by Williams to even
the score at 1-1. Stillman grabbed a loose puck in the right corner and passed
the disc to Williams in the right circle and his one-timer sailed past a
screened Miller high to the glove side.
A turnover deep in the Carolina zone cost the Hurricanes a goal late in the
opening period. Roy knocked down a clearing attempt at the right-half wall and
skated into the slot, unleashing a quick wrister that went into the top left
corner of the net to give the Sabres a 2-1 edge with 2:28 left in the first
Lydman's first-career playoff goal early in the second stanza gave Buffalo a
two-goal lead. Jay Mckee chipped the puck out of his own end and Lydman picked
up the loose disc in the neutral zone and managed to slip past the Carolina
defense. In all alone on Gerber, Lydman faked a backhand shot and tucked the
puck inside the left post on his forehand to give the Sabres a 3-1 lead 1:55
into the second.
Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette then pulled Gerber in favor of Ward to
spark his club. The goaltending change gave Carolina new life as the
Hurricanes responded with two goals in the second to even the score at 3-3.
"I made a change -- it was three goals on 11, 12 shots, whatever it was," said
Laviolette. "I (said) before the last time that I didn't think Cam played
poorly. I thought he played well. I guess I had a hunch about Marty (Gerber)
in Game 4 and he played extremely well, and just to try and not change it, but
I needed to change the game at that point because it wasn't going our way."
A tally by Recchi at the 5:21 mark made it a 3-2 contest. Doug Weight
controlled the puck at the left side of the net and made a nifty backhand pass
to Recchi in front and he quickly tapped the feed from Weight past Miller.
Midway through the second the Hurricanes tied it up at 3-3 with a power-play
goal. From the left-half wall, Staal fired a pass across to Brind'Amour at the
right circle and his one-timer beat Miller just under the crossbar.
Both teams played a cautious start to the third frame with neither club
managing to generate many scoring chances. With about four minutes left in
regulation, Buffalo had the best chance of the period as Maxim Afinogenov was
stoned in close by Ward, who made seven saves in the third.
"He (Afinogenov) was coming in with pretty good speed, I just was fortunate to
get a stick on there," said Ward. "It kind of rolled out by my stick. I don't
know if it's exactly where he wanted to put it, but fortunately I was able to
get in front of it."
Early in overtime the Sabres had a great chance in front as Jochen Hecht's
one-timer was swatted away by a sliding Ward.
Carolina improved to 4-1 in overtime games this postseason...Stillman has two
overtime game-winning goals during these playoffs, putting him second on the
all-time list for the Hurricanes...Carolina went 2-for-7 on the power
play...Buffalo defenseman Teppo Numminen missed his fourth straight game with
a groin injury...Both teams had 26 shots on goal.
05/29 00:24:30 ET