Ward Bests Miller, Leads Canes to Victory

It was just that kind of night for the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres dominated most of this game blasting shots from everywhere but Cam Ward stood his ground and led his Carolina Hurricanes to a 1-0 shutout victory.

Entering tonight’s game the Hurricanes were four points behind the Sabres and wasted no time as they were far and away the better team in the first eight minutes of this game.

The Sabres also had a lot on the line being tied with the Rangers for 7th spot.

The Sabres started to pick up their game at the half way point of the first period with the best chance coming on a point blank shot from Cody McCormick on a pass from Steve Montador, but he was denied by Cam Ward.

The Sabres continued to dominate and went on to outshoot the Hurricanes 22-13. However it was Carolina who struck first on a point shot was stopped by Miller, but a big rebound was buried home by Brandon Sutter with less than a minute remaining in the period.

It was more of the same in the second period. Buffalo was firing from all angles and had two very good scoring chances toward the final five minutes of the period. The first came when Tyler Ennis was left all alone in front of the net but fired it just over top of the net.

The second chance came when Thomas Vanek undressed Carolina defenseman Derek Joslin leaving him all alone with Cam Ward but a rolling puck prevented Vanek from getting off a good shot and thus the score remained 1-0 after two periods.

Coach Lindy Ruff mentioned before the game that the key to victory was to shut down the Erik and Eric duo and through the first two periods the Sabres defense did a great job doing just that.

That is until Andrej Sekera was caught pinching which left Cole all alone with Miller. Fortunately, Miller made a great blocker save to keep the Sabres within one.

With just 3:41 remaining in the third period, Steve Montador hit Jeff Skinner resulting in a questionable boarding call and yet another power play for Carolina. Although they didn’t score, it took precious time off the clock which stopped the Sabres from mounting any sort of comeback.

In the final minute, the Sabres pulled the goalie for the extra attacker but never could set up properly in the offensive zone and so the Carolina Hurricanes walked away with crucial two points.

The one good thing the Sabres have going for them is games in hand on most teams competing for that final playoff spot. However if the Sabres want to stay in the top eight of the eastern conference, they can’t afford to lose to many regulation games, especially to teams that are chasing them.

The Sabres have a few days off before they play the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night.

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