In a homecoming of sorts for Andrej Sekera and Nathan Gerbe, the Carolina Hurricanes picked up a big 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
The Buffalo Sabres started the scoring at 10:15 of the first period. Following a Carolina Hurricanes turnover, Cody Hodgson cam flying up the right wing and fired a slap shot past Anton Khudobin. Steve Ott picked up an assist on the goal.
At 12:28 of the first period, Jeff Skinner took matters into his own hand and ties the game at one. He pick pocketed Alexander Sulzer at the Sabres blue line, and then he came in and sent a beautiful back-hand shot past Jonas Enroth. The goal was unassisted.
The Buffalo Sabres would come back to take a 2-1 lead at 3:20 of the second period. Anton Khudobin had trouble handling the rebound off the original shot by Philip Varone, and Brian Flynn put home the easy rebound goal. The assists went to Philip Varone (1st NHL Point) and Marcus Foligno.
Alexander Semin continued his big goal scoring streak at 13:11 of the second period. Alexander Semin weaved in and out of the Buffalo Sabres defense up ice, and he fired a beautiful shot to the top left corner of the net from the outside of the slot. Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk got the assists.
Tyler Ennis and the Buffalo Sabres came out firing in the third period as they took a 3-2 48 seconds into the final frame. Drew Stafford charged into the zone and took the original shot. The shot was saved, but Tyler Ennis fired in the rebound goal from very far out to give the Sabres the lead. Drew Stafford and Zenon Konopka assisted on the goal.
The Carolina Hurricanes tied the game at three at 7:25 of period three. Jiri Tlusty won a puck battle with Henrik Tallinder, and Eric Staal was there to hit Alex Semin with a great pass out front. Alex Semin was left wide open and finished top shelf on Jonas Enroth.
Andrej Sekera gets revenge on his old team with the eventual game-winning goal at 9:50 of the the third period. Andrej Sekera fired a slap shot through the legs of Enroth from the point. The goal gave the Carolina Hurricanes a big 4-3 lead. Tuomo Ruutu and Mike Komisarek got the assists.
Jiri Tlusty was able to ice off the Carolina Hurricanes win with an empty net goal with .8 left in the third period. Andrej Sekera got the assist.
This game wasn’t pretty by any means, but the Carolina Hurricanes pulled out a big 5-3 win over a team they need to beat.
Anton Khudobin struggled a bit in this game. He had trouble tracking rebounds at time, but the team was able to bail him out with five goals at the other end. Anton Khudobin allowed three goals on twenty-nine shots, so if this is a “bad game” for him, that’s probably a good thing as he was still bale to make big saves when needed.
The Carolina Hurricanes first line was dominant once again. Alex Semin netted two goals, and Jiri Tlusty scored the empty net goal and added an assist. Eric Staal picked up an assist in the contest and was a +1.
Andrej Sekera had a fabulous game against his old team. He had a goal and two assists. He was also a +4, which is very impressive. He played an excellent two-way game with Justin Faulk throughout the night, and they both continued to improve.
Nathan Gerbe also had a good game against his old team. He had two shots in 13:30 of ice time.
One player who didn’t get on the score sheet but had a good game in Buffalo was Jordan Staal. He had seven shots on goal, two hits, he was a +1, and he won 63% of his face-offs. He had an excellent night.
The Carolina Hurricanes played decent through two periods, but the third period was where they won the game. They netted three goals and out shot the Buffalo Sabres 12-6 in the period.
This was a big win for the Carolina Hurricanes, even though they did not look terrific. There were some costly turnovers and mistakes that made the Canes pay, but they were able to beat a team they should beat.
The Carolina Hurricanes have now won three of their last four games. They will head home to play the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at noon.