Carolina at Buffalo

Sabres score four goals on first seven shots to dispatch Hurricanes


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sabres goalie Ryan Miller refused to fall into the trap of celebrating a much-needed victory, no matter how lopsided it was or how much life it breathed into Buffalo's playoff push.

The only thing Miller knew, following a 7-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, was the Sabres still have plenty of work to do if they intend to climb back into playoff contention over the final three weeks of the season.

"We need to be consistent," said Miller, who stopped 27 shots but was already looking ahead to Buffalo's game at Toronto on Saturday. "Tonight, it's get a quick meal, get on a bus and that's about as long as you can think about it."

Derek Roy had two goals and an assist in a game in which the Sabres scored four times on their first seven shots, and eased the dreadful memories of a 7-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

In snapping an 0-2-2 skid and winning for only the second time in eight games (2-4-2), the Sabres crept within two points of eighth-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Hurricanes had a five-game winning streak snapped, and had their lead atop the Southeast Division cut to five points after both Washington and Florida won Friday.

The Sabres had much more on the line, and played like it.

They won despite being without three injured regular defensemen, and received production from several unlikely sources: Fourth-line center Adam Mair had a goal and two assists, and rookie tough guy Patrick Kaleta also scored. Ales Kotalik, Paul Gaustad and Daniel Paille added goals for the Sabres in a blowout reminiscent of their 8-1 win over Carolina at Buffalo on Dec. 1.

"I like the fact that our grit guys grabbed hold of the game for us and won us the game," coach Lindy Ruff said. "I said this morning that the headline tomorrow should read, 'Desperate team wins game."'

Carolina had nothing in response. Scott Walker spoiled Miller's shutout with a short-handed goal midway through the third period.

The Hurricanes were first undone by numerous defensive miscues, providing little help to Cam Ward, and then lost their cool. They were given 20 penalties totaling 81 minutes.

Ward made three saves and was pulled after Gaustad shoveled in a loose puck in front to put Buffalo ahead 4-0 before 14 minutes elapsed.

"We got off to a terrible start. We just weren't ready," forward Eric Staal said. "It was just a bad game. Whatever the score ended up, we weren't very close."

The Hurricanes lost for only the third time in 11 games (8-2-1). They return home to face Ottawa on Sunday.

"We've been playing really well. The most important thing right now is regroup and forget about this," Walker said.

Paille, coming off a two-goal game, opened the scoring 4:44 in when he fanned on his first attempt in the slot, but had time to reload to snap the puck past Ward. Mair scored 22 seconds later, driving to the net and chipping in Drew Stafford's centering pass.

Roy, with a short-handed goal, and Gaustad scored three minutes apart to produce Buffalo's eighth four-goal period of the season.

"It's good to come out and have a decisive victory and build some confidence," said Mair, whose three-point night was a career high. "But these last 10 games, we need to continue to play hard, play desperate and put it on the line."


  • Staal had a five-game point streak snapped, as did Sergei Samsonov, Joseph Corvo and Matt Cullen.
  • The Hurricanes were attempting to win six straight for the first time since a 9-0 run midway through the 2005-06 season.
  • Sabres D Michael Funk made his season debut after being called up to fill in for a depleted blue line that lost Nathan Paetsch to a concussion on Wednesday. Funk had two assists in five games with Buffalo last season.
  • Sabres C Tim Connolly (hip) missed his second straight game.
  • Buffalo had 13 penalties, totaling 48 minutes.
Copyright 2017 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.
It's a good night for Buffalo's Derek Roy, who scores two goals and adds an assist.  (Getty Images)
It's a good night for Buffalo's Derek Roy, who scores two goals and adds an assist. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Carolina (38-30-5)0011
Buffalo  (33-28-11) «4217
Three Stars
A. Mair

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
A. Sekera

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
D. Roy

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
04:44Daniel Paille (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Derek Roy
05:06Adam Mair (5), Tip-In. Assist: Drew Stafford, Steve Bernier
10:51Short - Derek Roy (28), Tip-In. Assist: Jason Pominville, Henrik Tallinder
13:46Paul Gaustad (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Adam Mair, Jason Pominville
02:55Patrick Kaleta (3), Tip-In. Assist: Drew Stafford, Adam Mair
15:38Derek Roy (29), Wrist Shot. Assist: Daniel Paille, Steve Bernier
11:30Short - Scott Walker (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Tim Gleason, Glen Wesley
16:39Power Play - Ales Kotalik (21), Wrist Shot. Assist: Andrej Sekera, Henrik Tallinder
Penalty Summary
09:34Gaustad, 2 min, Tripping
11:23Pominville, 2 min, Hooking
12:30Hecht, 2 min, Cross-Checking
12:30Cullen, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
18:29Ruutu, 2 min, Cross-Checking
19:00Vanek, 2 min, High-Sticking
04:12Letowski, 2 min, Tripping
05:33Afinogenov, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
11:56Wesley, 2 min, Delay of Game
16:10Hedican, 2 min, Roughing
16:10Cullen, 2 min, Roughing
16:10Kotalik, 2 min, Roughing
19:02Lydman, 2 min, Roughing
19:02Eaves, 2 min, Roughing
20:00Walker, 2 min, High-Sticking
52.0Kotalik, 2 min, Hooking
04:57Walker, 5 min, Fighting
04:57Gaustad, 5 min, Fighting
04:57Grahame, 2 min, Slashing
04:57Bayda, 10 min, Misconduct
04:57Weber, 10 min, Misconduct
07:41Conboy, 5 min, Fighting
07:41Mair, 5 min, Fighting
07:41Conboy, 5 min, Interference
07:41Conboy, 10 min, Game Misconduct
14:18Staal, 2 min, Interference
14:18Cole, 10 min, Misconduct
14:18Kaleta, 10 min, Misconduct
16:08Walker, 2 min, Roughing
17:21Walker, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
17:21Walker, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:21Walker, 10 min, Misconduct
17:21Stafford, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
John Grahame46:14213
Cam Ward13:3934
Ryan Miller60:00271
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18690
Referees - Marc Joannette, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen - Mark Shewchyk, Brian Murphy
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