NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 21st
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (38-22-10) at Carolina Hurricanes (30-33-8), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres will shoot for a third straight victory
this evening when they close out a five-game road trip against the Carolina
The Sabres had lost three in a row, including the first two tests of this
swing, but Buffalo has since recorded road wins against Tampa Bay and Florida.
As a result, the Sabres are now seven points ahead of Montreal and Ottawa for
the Northeast Division lead.
Carolina has also won two straight and is still holding onto its postseason
hopes. The Hurricanes come into Sunday six points behind Boston for the eighth
and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes have also won nine of their last 11 games on home ice and have
a 19-14-3 record at RBC Center this season.
The Sabres are coming off Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Panthers. Ryan
Miller made 31 saves to lead the way for Buffalo, which is 17-13-4 as the
visiting team this year.
Jochen Hecht, Patrick Kaleta and Mike Grier lit the lamp for the Sabres, who
improved to 2-1-1 on their road trip. Buffalo will open a three-game homestand
when it faces Montreal Wednesday at HSBC Arena.
Meanwhile, Carolina is coming off Saturday's thrilling overtime win in
Pittsburgh. Jamie McBain scored with less than a second to play in overtime,
giving the Hurricanes a 3-2 victory over the Penguins.
In the final 20 seconds of overtime, Chad LaRose hit the post on a 2-on-1
break, then followed up his own rebound and ripped a wrister that Marc-Andre
Fleury stopped. With Carolina still pressuring as time wound down, McBain
tracked a loose, bouncing puck and lifted it over a prone Fleury for his first
NHL goal with nine-tenths of a second to go.
"It's just an unbelievable feeling. You don't know when it's going to happen,
and you dream about it up until it does," McBain admitted. "In this game, with
this atmosphere, against that team, with the time left, it's a pretty special
Zach Boychuk and Joni Pitkanen scored in regulation for the Hurricanes. Justin
Peters picked up the win by stopping 15 shots over the final 37-plus minutes.
Starter Manny Legace left the game early in the second period after he was hit
during a scrum in front of the Carolina cage after making eight saves.
"It looked like he was going to be okay," said Peters of Legace. "But going in
there is the backup's job and to be ready whenever the opportunity arises. I
was happy I was able to get the win."
Legace suffered a left leg injury and his status is unclear for today, meaning
the rookie Peters could get the start tonight.
Carolina has taken two straight against the Sabres since losing the first
matchup of the four-game season series. The Hurricanes have won four of six
overall against Buffalo and the Sabres have dropped six of their last 11 in
03/21 10:34:24 ET