Staalsy: I love you man! Colesy: Ah, you need a mint. (Photo Credit: Scott Andette via NHLI/Getty Images)

Riders of the Storm & Killers on the Road

 The Carolina Hurricanes continue to brew storms powerful enough to defeat the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Islanders. They beat the Isles 4-2 before flying back to Raleigh. Attempting their fourth consecutive victory will not be an easy skate. The Canes quite possibly face their most imperative game of the season today with the killers on the road, the Buffalo Sabres.

Before diving into the ulcer-inducing 5:00pm match at the RBC Center, let’s enjoy yesterday’s big win a tad longer.

It was a superb night for Erik Cole. The winger collected three points, including the tiebreaker in the third. After making the scoring pass to Cole, captain Eric Staal tackled his buddy in celebration.

Gaining the much-needed point is fantastic, but I think it is even better to see the players enjoying themselves again. They appear a completely different team than the one we watched struggle through most of March.  They are skating with confidence opposed to frustration.

Joe Corvo also had a productive night with a goal and two assists. Corvo tipped-in a long shot from Tim Gleason just three minutes into the final period to tie the game 2-2.

The other two goals came from Jussi Jokinen in the first, and an empty-netter from Staal to seal the victory.

The result put Canes a mere one point from a playoff seat. Carolina is one point from the eighth seed New York Rangers and two points from Buffalo.

Which brings us back to the ultimate showdown early this evening. Buffalo has gone 6-2-2 in their last ten while Carolina is 7-3-0. This marks the fourth and final match with the Sabres. Canes won two previous games, including the thrilling overtime goal from Jamie McBain. The other victory was a 1-0 shutout on March 15th.

Jamie McBain (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Canes players who had success against Buffalo in the past consist of McBain with three points along with Sutter, Skinner, LaRose and Staal with two points. This should make caniacs happy as McBain, Skinner and Staal have been on their A game recently.

The Sabres lost 4-5 to the Caps last night (yahoo!). It is still unknown if Ryan Miller will be between the pipes for Buffalo today. He did not make the trip to Washington as he is recovering from an injury. The rookie goalie, Jhonas Enroth has successfully filled the starter’s skates. Enroth earned his first NHL shutout last Wednesday with the New York Rangers.

The new, confident Canes are moving and shooting the puck. The lines look sharp. Cam Ward continues to be the most valuable player. Don’t let the beautiful skies of Raleigh fool you Sabres…there’s a storm brew’in with your name on it.

Also, a friendly reminder, I have to wear a “I HEART BUFFALO” shirt downtown tonight in the very rare instance the Hurricanes are defeated. Please do not slap me in the temple.

I know we tend to cringe at Buffalo fans, so Ithought I would share a great article from Luke DeCock. Taking back what’s ours!

LET’S GO CANES!

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Tags: Brandon Sutter Buffalo Sabres Cam Ward Canes Carolina Hurricanes Chad LaRose Eastern Conference Playoffs Eric Staal Erik Cole Jamie McBain Jeff Skinner Jhonas Enroth Jussi Jokinen New York Islanders Riders Of The Storm Ryan Miller The Doors

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