NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Carolina
(Sunday, February 12th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Buffalo 3 (SO)
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout to lift the Carolina Hurricanes past the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, at the RBC Center.
Justin Williams tied the game early in the third period with his 19th goal of the season and Martin Gerber made 17 saves for Carolina, which snapped a two- game skid. Niclas Wallin and Erik Cole also added goals for the Hurricanes.
"I thought the guys played great, we were going in the right direction, then had to kill of some penalties at the end of the second period then a bad bounce off the glass. It seems like at times through the season it works against you, and that's what we talked about between periods," Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette said. "You have to work extra hard to overcome it. I thought the third period was a snapshot of what our team has been about all year long and the will that's in the locker room. They just never quit, they never give up and persevered in the end."
Jean-Pierre Dumont scored two goals, Derek Roy added his seventh tally of the season and Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots for the Sabres, who have lost two of their last three games following a six-game winning streak.
"They did a hell of a job," Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff said. "From the start of the game to the bitter end, the desperation was there. We come into a building where they don't play the night before and we play in less than 24 hours, I really thought our club did a hell of a job."
After Gerber stoned Jason Pominville, Staal beat Miller stick side just inside the post to seal the win for Carolina.
Matt Cullen opened the scoring in the second round of the shootout after he beat Miller stick side, but Buffalo tied the contest after Maxim Afinogenov snaked a backhand through Gerber's five hole.
Roy gave the Sabres the lead in the fifth round after his backhander beat Gerber top shelf, but Williams followed by beating Miller top shelf off the post to force a sixth round.
Tied 3-3 in overtime, Miller stoned Ray Whitney on a breakaway with 1:32 left to keep the game square and force the shootout.
Carolina drew first blood with 3:44 left in the first period after Wallin's one-timer from the right point beat Miller for a 1-0 lead.
Buffalo tied the game 7:36 into the second period after Dumont took a pass from Afinogenov and beat Gerber from on the doorstep to make it 1-1.
The Hurricanes regained the lead exactly one minute later after Cole backhanded a shot over Miller's glove from the top of the crease for a 2-1 advantage.
The Sabres retied the contest with 3:02 left in the second period while on the power play after Dumont's shot deflected off a defenseman's skate and slid under Gerber's right pad to make it 2-2.
Buffalo took its first lead of the game with 2:05 left in the second period after Roy tapped home a cross-slot pass from Afinogenov for a 3-2 advantage.
Carolina netted the equalizer just 5:07 into the third period after Williams deflected a shot from the left point past Miller's glove to make it 3-3.
Carolina will return from the Olympic break on March 1 against Boston, while Buffalo will next play on March 3 against Toronto...The Sabres remained one win away from matching their victory total of 37 from the 2003-04 season...Doug Weight still has not recorded a point since coming to the Hurricanes in a trade with St. Louis...It was the Sabres fourth overtime game in their last five contests.
02/12 21:44:58 ET