The Buffalo Sabres had a four game point streak coming into Raleigh for their final matchup of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, a slow start and defensive lapses leads to a 4-3 victory for Carolina.
- It doesn't take the Hurricanes very long to find the back of the net as Jiri Tlusty finds the back of the net just 1:31 into the game. The assists on the goal came from Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. Staal's assist gives him his 600th career point.
- Instead of testing the third string goalie in Justin Peters, the Hurricanes have been the early team that has kept the offensive pressure on. Through the first eight minutes of the game, the Sabres have only managed one shot on goal while the Hurricanes have four. The Hurricanes came into this game leading the league in shot attempts/game with 32.6. The Sabres were 29th in the league in shots allowed/game with 33.5 so I should expect a ton of shots.
- The Stafford/Grigorenko/Hecht line that was created on Saturday is actually showing some dividends in the last few games. They accounted for one goal on Sunday and early in this game they are creating some early chances. Head coach Ron Rolston must be thinking the same thing as well as the ice time for the line has increased over time as well.
- The Sabres finished the period with some better chances and six shots on goal. The best line in the first was the Marcus Foligno/Kevin Porter/Bryan Flynn line which accounted for three of the team's six shots. Jiri Tlusty already has four shots on goal by himself, which leads the Hurricanes.
- After being outshot in the 1st period 12-6, the Sabres definitely settled things down and limiting some chances to start the 2nd period. Through the first ten minutes, the Sabres are only getting outshot 6-3.
- Even with all of the work Ryan Miller has gotten over the past few weeks, he still looks sharp in thus far in the game. That was evident on the save by Miller on a Riley Nash tip. If that save wasn't good enough, the save on the 2-0 shorthanded breakaway was even better.
- The Hurricanes convert on their second power play of the game as Joe Corvo blasts a shot from the left faceoff dot in front of a screened Ryan Miller.
- Thomas Vanek made his return to the lineup and on his first shot of the game he gets robbed on a wide open net by Justin Peters.
- The Sabres finished the period outshooting the Hurricanes 16-12 but still down 2-0. Carolina is 8-0 when leading after two periods while the Sabres are 2-8-1
- The Sabres bring the deficit down to one early in the period. In this case, early is 25 seconds into the period. Cody Hodgson found himself all alone with the puck in front of the net and buried past Peters for his ninth goal of the year. Jason Pominville received an assist on the goal, his first assist since February 3rd.
- Jussi Jokinen didn't wait long to give the Canes a two goal lead again as the Sabres defense just looked like the mess they have been for most of the season trying to get the puck out of the zone. The goal is Jokinen's 5th goal of the season.
- TJ Brennan brought the Sabres back to within one on the power play but the Sabres squandered the best opportunity they had with a five on three power play. Brennan scored long after the Hurricanes' first man came out of the box,.
- The Hurricanes continue to find ways to get that two goal lead again with Alexander Semin scoring just 1:40 after Brennan scored to bring the Sabres to within one.
- Cody Hodgson scored his second of the game with 35 seconds left while shorthanded to bring the game back to one on a fantastic deke through a bunch of defenders. That goal gives the Sabres three straight games in which they have scored a shorthanded goal. The last time they did that was in 1997 when Michael Peca, Dixon Ward, and Garry Galley scored them.
- The Sabres finished the game with a 40-28 lead in shots. In the third period, they outshot the Hurricanes 18-4. Carolina did end up scoring twice on those four shots though. Cody Hodgson led all players with seven shots on goal.
- Ryan Miller ended up with 24 saves on the night with Justin Peters finished with 37 saves in his first game of the season.
The Sabres will regroup before heading to New Jersey to take on the fledgling Devils on Thursday night.