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Buffalo
Sabres
37-34-7-4
Carolina
Hurricanes
28-34-14-6

22 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
BUF
CAR
game recap

Buffalo Sabres 1, Carolina Hurricanes 2 FINAL

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Buffalo Sabres 1, Carolina Hurricanes 2 FINAL
Buffalo Sabres 1, Carolina Hurricanes 2

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- After reaching several milestones the past few seasons in losses, Ron Francis was able to enjoy his latest accomplishment during a win.

The Carolina captain tied for fourth on the NHL's all-time points list with a goal and the Hurricanes finally solved Buffalo's Mika Noronen, beating the Sabres 2-1 Monday night.

"The guys are working hard and it's nice to get it in a game that helps us win," Francis said when asked about tying Marcel Dionne with 1,771 points. "That's the most special part about it."

Carolina won its second straight at the start of a seven-game homestand and improved to 4-2 under new coach Peter Laviolette. All of the wins have been by 2-1 scores.

"It's a great number, isn't it?" Francis said of the 2-1 scores. "I was actually getting excited when we had two goals halfway through the second, thinking we might get three or four tonight. In the end, 2-1 was good enough again."

Meanwhile, the Sabres had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped.

"We had 12 shots after two periods and it just didn't seem like we had a lot of gas," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "When you don't skate well not a lot of good things happen for you."

Noronen had beaten Carolina 5-0 and 3-1 in the last five weeks with some spectacular goaltending. But Francis scored his goal early in the second period and Bret Hedican added one later to erase a one-goal Buffalo lead.

Francis, in his 23rd season, chipped in a loose puck in traffic after a shot from Jeff O'Neill bounced high in the air in front of the Buffalo net.

"It was a big goal for our team and a big goal for him," O'Neill said. "It seems like I've said it 100 times but he's in some company that's unbelievable for the rest of the guys in this locker room.

"And somehow I always seem to snivel in some kind of assist or goal on his milestones. Somehow I get my ugly face into the action, but it's been fun the last five or six years seeing him climb up the ladder."

The goal was also the 542nd of his career, passing Stan Mikita for 21st place.

Hedican's shot from the point deflected off a Buffalo defenseman and past Noronen with 4:50 left in the second.

Noronen kept it a one-goal game with 2:53 remaining when he robbed O'Neill as he broke in free.

Danny Markov and Eric Staal hit posts in the first 10 minutes as Carolina's first-period scoring woes continued. The Hurricanes have just 16 first-period goals in 36 games.

Curtis Brown gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with 1:21 left in the period when he backhanded a rebound past Kevin Weekes.

scoring summary
1st Period
18:39
BUF
Curtis Brown (5) ASST: Jay McKee (1)
1 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
04:14
CAR
Ron Francis (6) ASST: Jeff O'Neill (16), Eric Staal (10)
1 - 1 Tie
15:10
CAR
Bret Hedican (2) ASST: NONE
2 - 1 CAR
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
04:09
BUF
Ales Kotalik  Too many men on the ice
08:06
CAR
Danny Markov  Interference against  Daniel Briere
10:32
BUF
Ales Kotalik  Hi-sticking against  Eric Staal
11:07
CAR
Eric Staal  Hooking against  Jay McKee
14:55
BUF
Eric Boulton  Interference against  Danny Markov
19:20
CAR
Radim Vrbata  Hooking - Obstruction against  Derek Roy
2nd Period
07:07
BUF
Adam Mair  Tripping against  Jeff O'Neill
10:26
CAR
Aaron Ward  Roughing against  Derek Roy
16:43
CAR
Aaron Ward  Tripping against  Chris Drury
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Mika Noronen
Mika Noronen
SA: 31TOI: 58:51
Saves: 29EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 2 - 2
Kevin Weekes
SA: 22TOI: 59:59
Saves: 21EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .955SH: 0 - 0