November 11th was the last time the Buffalo Sabres recorded a winning streak of more than one game. They had just come off a 5-1 thrashing of the Ottawa Senators and had won their last four games. Then they faced the Boston Bruins on November 12th and the season has been all down hill since. The Sabres had one of their best chances in getting two wins in a row as they headed down to Carolina to face off against the struggling Hurricanes. It still hasn't happened though as they lost to the Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night
The first period started off as one of the better periods we had seen from the Sabres. They managed to get a good handful of chances and tried to beat Cam Ward but proved unsuccessful as Ward stopped all 12 shots he faced. At the other end of the ice, the Hurricanes were also getting a decent amount of chances and Ryan Miller made all 15 saves in the period.
The Hurricanes opened the scoring in the second period as Justin Faulk rifled a shot past a screened Ryan Miller early in the period. The goal came on the power play, just seven seconds after Mike Weber went to the box for interference. The Sabres responded 21 seconds later as Thomas Vanek was able to hop a puck over Cam Ward and the game was subsequently tied again. Unlike the shot happy first period, the second period only saw a total of 17 shots from both teams.
More about the game, including highlights and player specific thoughts after the jump
In the third period, Carolina's Eric Staal scored on a goal that needs to be seen rather than described:
The Sabres were able to tie the game again five minutes later on a goal that was even worse than the one Ryan Miller let in:
The Sabres would never actually get the lead in this game though as Chad LaRose would manage to get the lead back on a two on one breakaway. LaRose shot the puck and Miller was just out of position and not able to stop the puck that went blocker side. The Hurricanes would finish the game off with an empty net goal late in the period.
- Ryan Miller did not have his best game against the Hurricanes. In fact, he had a game that we consistently see out of Miller for most of this season. The game winning goal the Hurricanes scored is Exhibit A of the struggles Miller has had this season. Chad LaRose was coming down the ice on a two on one breakaway with Brandon Sutter. Robyn Regher was the defender on the two on one and he appeared to be in position to take away the pass. From that point, Miller should have challenged the shooter more, but instead he is creeping backwards as LaRose is coming in and is beaten on the blocker side.
- The return of Tyler Myers didn't manage much in the offensive department as he didn't register a point on the night, but his defensive game was pretty sound. Myers played 23:08 on the night, the highest of any Sabre playing and spent most of his night playing with Jordan Leopold. His final stat line was a +1, 1 shot on goal, 1 attempt blocked, 2 missed shots, 2 hits, and a takeaway.
- Derek Roy left this game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return. An interesting stat on Twitter came up during the game. Only four players on the Sabres roster are going to be able to finish the season with 82 games played: Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Luke Adam, and Derek Roy. If Roy is not able to play against the Jets on Saturday night, that number goes down to three.
This loss kept the Sabres at 11th in the Eastern Conference, five points behind eighth place Toronto. The Sabres will try and start another winning streak against the Winnipeg Jets at home. The last time these two teams faced off against each other, it was an offensive explosion.