Former Sabre Nathan Gerbe sealed the deal with an empty net goal.
On the power play, Alexander Semin evened the score at two with his 18th goal of the year. Semin’s shot redirected off Mike Weber’s foot and into the net.
Semin’s goal came shortly after Jiri Tlusty’s 12th goal of the year gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead late in the 3rd period.
Those two quick goals turned the momentum after it was Buffalo that had a 3rd period lead.
Drew Stafford’s goal with 8:43 remaining in the third period gave Buffalo a one goal lead, but that only lasted for a few minutes.
Michal Neuvirth received the start in net for Buffalo, but took the loss, despite stopping 50 of 53 shots.
It seemed as if Neuvirth’s name was on repeat, as his name was called time and time again by Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret.
At the other end, Cam Ward earned the win after allowing two goals on 22 shots.
Buffalo had a couple of opportunities with the lead, but they were unable to hold it.
Tyler Ennis started the scoring halfway through the opening period. Ennis was awarded a penalty shot, and he took advantage. The Sabres’ forward roofed a shot top shelf to give his team the lead. It was the first goal scored on a penalty shot for Buffalo this season.
Just a few minutes later, Jeff Skinner’s shot from the side of net, beat Neuvirth, knotting the game at one.
After Neuvirth was called upon to make several key stops in the second period, the Sabres iced the puck twice. As a result, Ted Nolan elected to burn his timeout and give his group of players a rest before the next faceoff.
That timeout may have come back to haunt the Sabres. Nolan could have used that timeout in the final minutes with his team down by one.
With the loss, the Sabres have dropped four consecutive games. This game also concludes the season series between the two teams, with Carolina taking two of three.
Despite the loss, the Sabres managed to hold one player in specific in check. Eric Staal has always found a way to put up points against Buffalo.
Coming into tonight, Staal had recorded 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) in 37 career regular season games against the Sabres. He’s also scored three game-winning goals against Buffalo. However, Staal was held to one assist, which came on the empty net goal, but Carolina received contributions from others, which was the difference.
The Sabres will head to Long Island for their next game, against the Islanders. That matchup is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Nassau Coliseum.
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