The Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres squared off in the NHL’s first game following the Olympic break. It would be a tough game for the Carolina Hurricanes as they lost 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.
A second period goal from Christian Ehrhoff opened the scoring for the Buffalo Sabres. Christian Ehrhoff took a slap shot from the point, and the puck found it’s way through a screen in front of Cam Ward and in. It was a bit of a soft goal as it bounced off the glove of Cam Ward and in, but it gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead. Drew Stafford and Ryan Miller got the assists.
The Carolina Hurricanes would strike back at 16:52 of the second period. Eric Staal and Alex Semin came in on a 2-on-1 rush, and Eric Staal sniped it through the five-hole of Ryan Miller to tie the game at one. Justin Faulk got the lone assist as the Buffalo Sabres power play expired.
Tyler Ennis gave the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 lead at 12:13 of the third period. After a Cam Ward save, the puck became loose behind the sprawling goalie. Nobody seemed to know where the puck was, except for Tyler Ennis who swooped around the net and tipped it over the goal line. Matt Moulson and Drew Stafford got the assists.
The Carolina Hurricanes tied it at two at 16:00 of the third period. Alex Semin walked in and used a Buffalo Sabres defenseman as a screen as he fired a powerful wrist shot past Ryan Miller. Andrej Sekera got the assist.
Justin Faulk re-directed the puck into his own net with 44 seconds left in the third period, and that would be the Buffalo Sabres game-winning-goal. Christian Ehrhoff threw the puck to the front of the net, and Justin Faulk tried to clear the crease, but then put it into his own net. Ryan Miller got the only assist.
The Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night in New York. Ryan Miller was incredible in net for the Buffalo Sabres, and led his team past the Canes.
The Carolina Hurricanes were the better team. There is no arguing that. They dominated offensively, and limited shots from the Buffalo Sabres.
Ryan Miller stole the game for the Buffalo Sabres. He made 36 shots on 38 saves against the Carolina Hurricanes. Many of those saves were beauties. He also picked up two assists for the Buffalo Sabres.
Cam Ward started his first game since New Year’s Eve against the Sabres. It certainly wasn’t a great game for Ward. The first goal was a shot he definitely should have had, the second goal was a situation where the puck was sitting on the goal line for two or three seconds and no one knew where it was, and the last goal was a bit unlucky as it bounced off Justin Faulk and in.
The Carolina Hurricanes first line was very good against the Buffalo Sabres. The trio of Eric Staal, Alex Semin, and Jiri Tlusty was good all night, and they generated many scoring chances. The first line was one of the bright spots of the game.
Jeff Skinner was incredible offensively against the Sabres. He had a game leading seven shots on goal, and many of those were golden opportunities. Jeff Skinner was on his game offensively, but Ryan Miller was just too good.
Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera came to play. The two Olympians picked up assists, and they shut down the Buffalo Sabres for a majority of the night.
This is a loss that will hurt the Carolina Hurricanes. They lost in heart-breaking fashion in a game they deserved to win.
The Carolina Hurricanes will be back in action Thursday night against the Dallas Stars. I expect Anton Khudobin to get the start in Texas.