The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, looking for two huge points in the ever-so-tight Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Sabres headed into the first period seemingly rested from their extended West Coast road trip. They came out roaring, flying up and down the ice but that wouldn’t last for long though.
The Hurricanes would put the brakes on when they scored the game’s first goal. Jaroslav Spacek scored the goal on a shot from the blueline that cleanly beat Ryan Miller.
As the first half of the period continued to wind down, the Sabres were noticeably slowed down and playing a little more sloppy. Puckhandling and skating seemed to become a big issue for the team.
As the second period began, it was quite evident that the Sabres were skating with purpose. Only 22 seconds into the period, Tyler Myers tied the game with his seventh goal of the season. Forty seconds later, Thomas Vanek gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead, on the power play. This was Vanek’s first goal in seven games.
Buffalo would continue to lay on the pressure throughout the period, even after the Hurricanes tied the game at 5:11.
The story of the second period was missed opportunities. The Sabres recorded 17 shots in the period and often had excellent scoring chances.
Heading into the third period, the momentum was still up in the air.
The Hurricanes began the period with an undisciplined penalty but the Sabres, as throughout the game, were unable to take advantage.
The third period was another period dominated by the Sabres, as they outshot Carolina 15-7.
With that being said, the recurring theme continued to strike. The Sabres were unable to take advantage of the Hurricanes miscues.
That would all change, starting with a hooking penalty taken late in the third period by Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen.
Although the Sabres did not score before the end of the third period, they would take a power play into the overtime period.
Starting off in overtime, the Sabres began with a 4-on-3 advantage. A few opportunities rose quick but nothing was made of those.
Then, the Sabres brought the puck back into the offensive zone and set up their play. Christian Ehrhoff had the puck on the right point as Jason Pominville lingered around the left point.
Ehrhoff seemed as if he was going to shoot, causing the Hurricanes to move a little. Right as that happened, Ehrhoff passed the puck to Pominville and the captain put the one-timer past Carolina goaltender Cam Ward to give the Sabres a 3-2 overtime victory.
The Sabres are currently in 10th place with 70 points. The Capitals, who were idle tonight, sit in 9th place with 70 points but are ahead of the Sabres because of tiebreakers.
Buffalo heads to Boston to take on the Bruins tomorrow night. The game will be broadcast on MSG and the puck drops at 7 pm.
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