NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Buffalo
(Saturday, January 17th)
Final Score: Buffalo 3, Carolina 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Tim Connolly scored twice and Ryan Miller was spectacular, turning aside 36 of 37 shots as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, 3-1, at HSBC Arena.
Teppo Numminen also tallied for the Sabres, who were able to feed off a 5-4 shootout win at Dallas on Thursday night. Buffalo has won two straight and six of eight. Thomas Vanek registered a pair of assists in the win.
"I haven't had too many (goals), I'm usually trying to set somebody else up," Connolly said. "It's nice to be out there and get a couple. I'm happy to be back (from the rib injury), I thought all-around we played a tremendous game. It was a great game for us to build on."
Ryan Whitney accounted for the lone Carolina goal. The Hurricanes have lost five straight games for the first time since December 5-15, 2006.
"What are you going to say? We just have to keep playing hard and keep believing in ourselves," Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "Nobody's pointing fingers and we're all in it together. If we have efforts like that for the rest of the season, I think we'll be where we want to be."
Cam Ward had a solid outing between the pipes, stopping 23 shots.
With Buffalo holding a comfortable 3-0 advantage after two periods, Whitney's tally from in close got the Hurricanes on the board 17 seconds into the third.
Carolina continued to pressure the Sabres net, but Miller was up for the task, making several keys saves in the frame. Then with 3:23 remaining and the Hurricanes skating with the man advantage, coach Paul Maurice pulled Ward in favor of the extra attacker, giving the visitors a 6-on-4 edge.
The risky move didn't work as Miller stopped 18 of 19 shots in the final period.
Buffalo opened the scoring at 7:58 of the opening period when Connolly tipped home Toni Lydman's wrist shot off a left circle faceoff.
Numminen's second of the season on a soft wrist shot from the right circle got through a maze of players and beat a screened Ward to the stick side with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first.
Connolly's second of the night off a Carolina turnover gave the Sabres a three-goal cushion with 3:04 left in the second stanza. Ryan Bayda attempted to pass the puck out his own end, but hit a teammate in the skate. Vanek picked up the loose disc and got it to Connolly, who ripped a wrist shot past Ward.
Buffalo begins a six-game road trip at Florida on Monday night, while Carolina visits Toronto...Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera will miss at least two weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in the team's 4-1 loss at Chicago on Wednesday...Hurricanes center Eric Staal played in his 300th consecutive game...This was the first of four meetings between Carolina and the Sabres this year after the clubs split the season series a year ago. Buffalo has taken three of four and eight of 10 from the Hurricanes and Carolina has now lost five in a row at HSBC Arena.
01/18 02:31:32 ET