NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Buffalo
(Thursday, December 28th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Carolina 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller made 29 saves, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes at HSBC Arena.
Jason Pominville, Chris Drury, Thomas Vanek and Ales Kotalik scored for Buffalo, winners in three of its last four.
Craig Adams got the lone tally for Carolina, which had its five-game winning streak stopped. John Grahame stopped 22 shots in the loss.
After a six-goal outburst in a 6-3 home win Tuesday against Washington, the Sabres could only muster a season low one shot on goal in the first period without scoring.
However, Pominville broke the three-period drought at 1:21 of the second, when he pushed a loose puck in the slot past Carolina's Mike Commodore and Grahame. Drury followed at 2:52, bunting home his own rebound from the crease before Grahame could trap the puck against his body.
Vanek stuffed home the rebound of Jaroslav Spacek's point blast with 3:42 remaining, and the Sabres had an iron-clad three-goal lead heading into the final period.
"I basically said that we didn't work, we didn't care about working, we cheated our fans, we cheated everybody," said Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff. "I think we used that first 20 minutes to learn how to play again. It was like we expected Washington all over again. It was very disappointing."
Adams would eventually get the Canes on the board, courtesy of a shorthanded breakaway goal with 1:09 to go, but Kotalik responded with a pretty backhander on a power-play penalty shot with 42 seconds left.
"That was the best game we played against them," Carolina captain Rod Brind' Amour said. "We really should have had a few in the first period, I think it would have been a different game. If we got out front it would have been a much different story. We didn't and then they got three rebound goals, kind of goals you can't let happen."
Buffalo wins the season series in a four-game sweep, outscoring Carolina 19-11...The Sabres have won five straight and nine of 13 in the overall series...Drury and Vanek's goals gave them 20 for the year, making Buffalo the third team to boast two 20-goal scorers on their roster, following Atlanta and Tampa Bay...Brind'Amour picked up an assist, his 30th of the season...The Hurricanes host Anaheim on Friday, and the Sabres host Atlanta on Saturday.
12/28 23:53:42 ET