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Buffalo at Carolina

'Canes beat Sabres in OT, both earn important points

CBSSports.com wire reports
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres each had something to show for one the biggest games of the season to date for both clubs.

The Hurricanes won 3-2 on Jamie McBain's goal 26 seconds into overtime Thursday night. The victory moved Carolina into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of the ninth-place Sabres.

"The playoffs are now, really, when you look at the standings, and you look at the teams we're playing against," Carolina's Erik Cole said. "Every point is valuable."

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race >>

Chad LaRose and Jiri Tlusty also scored for Carolina, 11-3-2 in its last 16 home games. The Hurricanes won consecutive games for the first time since the end of January.

Cam Ward made 27 saves.

"They get a point, too," Ward said. "In the perfect world, you'd like a win in regulation, but the guys competed really hard. They're a really good team."

On the winning play, defenseman Joni Pitkanen rushed the puck over the Sabres' blue line and waited for the trailing McBain. McBain's slap shot made it through traffic before sneaking through goalie Ryan Miller's legs.

"It kind of had eyes," McBain said. "Any shot's a good shot in overtime. You never know what's going to happen. I was just trying to get it to the net."

All was not lost for the Sabres. Even though Buffalo lost, it earned a point for reaching overtime. And because the New York Rangers fell to Minnesota, Buffalo is only two points behind the eighth-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference with three games in hand.

"I guess this is not so bad, but we let it go," Miller said.

Newly acquired Brad Boyes scored his second goal in two games for the Sabres, Steve Montador also had a goal and Miller made 21 saves.

Buffalo, which had won four in a row on the road, is in the midst of a seven-game trip.

After an uneventful first period, the Sabres got the sizable contingent of Buffalo fans on their feet early in the second when Montador slapped a shot past a screened Ward from just inside the blue line.

The Hurricanes countered quickly, with Tlusty finishing off a scramble in front of Miller. Brandon Sutter had hit the post seconds earlier.

The teams traded goals again later in the period.

Boyes, acquired from St. Louis at the trade deadline, gave the Sabres a brief 2-1 lead when he cleaned up a rebound. Buffalo defenseman Andrej Sekera had wristed a shot from the point that hit a couple of players in front, causing the puck to fall in front of Ward. Boyes was there to pick it up and jam it past Ward quickly.

The Hurricanes tied the score less than two minutes later. Miller went behind his net to corral a dump-in and sent the puck into a corner. Carolina's Jeff Skinner intercepted it and centered the puck to LaRose, who was out in front. LaRose outwaited Miller, who tried to scramble back into the net, before shoveling the puck into the net.

"My fault on that one," Miller said. "That second one is a tough play. My guys told me to play it, and I whiffed. I thought with [LaRose] being a righty, he was going to one-time it. He just held on to it. It would've worked to my favor had I just come back and gotten position."

With the score still tied at 2, Boyes had a breakaway early in the third but backhanded the puck into Ward's glove. Buffalo's Tyler Ennis then hit the post on a power play late in the third period. "I thought we played great," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had a couple of really good looks. When they don't go in, you lose the game, but when you compete like that for 60 minutes, you're going to win a lot of hockey games."

Notes

  • Carolina killed off three Buffalo power plays in the first period and five for the game. Ward has started 24 consecutive games for the Hurricanes.
  • Sekera had two assists for Buffalo.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Carolina players and fans alike celebrate Jamie McBain's (4) winning goal just 26 seconds into overtime. (AP)
Carolina players and fans alike celebrate Jamie McBain's (4) winning goal just 26 seconds into overtime. (AP)

Scoreboard
Buffalo (30-25-8)02002
Carolina  (31-25-9) «02013
Three Stars
J. McBain
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
C. Ward
CAR


Saves: 27
Save Pct.: .931
C. LaRose
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
04:35 - Steve Montador (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Ennis, Sekera
06:46 - Jiri Tlusty (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: McBain, Sutter
10:12 - Brad Boyes (14), Wrist Shot. Assist: Montador, Sekera
11:58 - Chad LaRose (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Skinner
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
26.0 - Jamie McBain (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Pitkanen, Staal
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
24.0Allen, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
04:17Gerbe, 2 min, Tripping
05:59Skinner, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:00LaRose, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
16:59Connolly, 2 min, Roughing
16:59Gleason, 2 min, Roughing
3RD PERIOD
09:38McBain, 2 min, Holding
11:39Stafford, 2 min, Slashing
16:21Staal, 2 min, Tripping
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
BUF1171129
CAR78823
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Ryan Miller 60:25213
Cam Ward 60:26272
Game Information
Attendance - 15213
Referees - Frederick L'Ecuyer, Dennis LaRue
Linesmen - Brian Murphy, Derek Nansen
 
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TB 1 Final
Bos 2
Tor 3 Final
Phi 2
StL 2 Final
Wash 3
Min 3 Final
NYR 1
Ott 3 Final
Atl 1
Mon 4 Final
Fla 0
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Edm 4
Nash 3 Final
Van 0
Pho 0 Final
LA 1
Det 1 Final
SJ 3