NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Buffalo
(Wednesday, November 9th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Buffalo 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Erik Cole scored on one of two penalty shots he was awarded in the third period and added a pair of assists, as the Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record with their eighth straight victory in a 5-3 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
Martin Gerber made 41 saves and Cory Stillman notched three assists for the Hurricanes, who haven't lost since an overtime setback at Toronto on October 20 and are 10-0-1 in their last 11 games.
Cole scored on his first penalty shot for what proved to be the winning goal, then missed the net on his second attempt.
Ray Whitney, Mike Zigomanis, Frantisek Kaberle and Justin Williams also scored for Carolina.
Thomas Vanek netted his first two NHL goals for the Sabres, who lost their fourth straight game. Ales Kotalik also scored and Martin Biron stopped 17 shots in defeat.
Cole was awarded a penalty shot with 11:23 remaining in the contest when he was taken down by Jochen Hecht on a shorthanded breakaway. He made it count, lifting a backhander over Biron's glove for his sixth goal of the season and a 4-2 lead.
The Sabres went on to score 38 seconds later on the power play, as Vanek split a pair of Carolina defenders and beat Gerber with a shot from the right circle for his first NHL goal.
Buffalo pulled to within one with 7:17 remaining when Vanek deflected a shot by Henrik Tallinder past Gerber. The play was reviewed to determine if Vanek's stick was too high, but it was allowed to stand.
Biron made an outstanding glove save on a point-blank shot by Eric Staal with 5:14 left to keep it a one-goal game, then forced Cole to miss wide on his second penalty shot with 4:13 to play.
The Sabres pulled Biron in the final minute and Williams scored into the empty cage to seal it.
Buffalo held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the first period, but the Hurricanes scored a pair of goals before the stanza concluded.
Stillman started the play on the first goal with a pass behind the net to Cole, who quickly fed the puck into the right circle. Whitney was unchecked and fired a wrist shot under the crossbar for his fourth goal of the season with 5:19 to play.
Just 3:39 later, Stillman made a great play to stop a clearing pass in the Buffalo zone. The puck caromed to Staal, who dropped a pass into the left circle and Zigomanis ripped it home for his first goal of the year.
The Sabres dominated the first half of the second period, outshooting the Hurricanes 15-1, but Carolina scored soon after on a power play to open a 3-1 cushion.
Stillman got the puck to Cole, who tried to thread a pass into the slot. The puck hit the skates of a pair of Buffalo defenders and went directly to Kaberle, who beat Biron with a shot for his third goal.
Gerber stopped all 22 shots he faced in the second period, as his teammates mustered just three against Biron.
The Sabres grabbed a 1-0 lead just 4:57 into the game on a power-play goal by Kotalik, who snapped a wrister from the right point past a partially screened Gerber for his eighth goal.
The previous Hurricanes franchise record of seven straight wins was set from March 16-29, 1985 when the club was based in Hartford...Cole had failed to score on his first two career penalty shot attempts...Biron has been scored upon three times on six penalty shots...Staal has a nine-game point streak, posting six goals and 13 assists in that span...Stillman registered three assists in a game for the ninth time in his career and second time this season. He has four goals and 13 assists in his last 11 games.
11/09 21:48:05 ET