|BUF||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||7|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Sabres Win a Wild One at RBC Center
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 13, 2006) - What was shaping up as the best comeback of the season quickly turned into a third-period collapse for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canes rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie it when Rod Brind'Amour played the waiting game on Buffalo goalie Martin Biron at the side of the net, slipping it between Biron's pads with 13:37 left to get the RBC Center crowd into the game.
But the Carolina captain lost a faceoff 46 seconds later and the Sabres took the lead for good, starting a three-goal outburst over a six-minute span en route to a 7-4 victory. It was a season-high goal total allowed by the Hurricanes, who gave up just two goals in the first two games of the home stand.
"It was frustrating because we gave them two goals," said Brind'Amour, who had a goal and assist to push his team-leading point total to 25 in 19 games. "The fourth and fifth goals, they didn't even to break a sweat.
"They are a good team and they make plays anyway, but when you just hand them two goals, the way they did it, was frustrating," he said. "You can't do that against good teams. You've got to make them earn it."
Coming into Monday night's game, Carolina had allowed just three power-play goals at home in 39 attempts and had killed all off 11 in recent 5-0 and 6-2 wins over Washington and Pittsburgh. But the Hurricanes allowed the Sabres to score twice with the man advantage and win for the second time here after losing the Eastern Conference finals to Carolina in seven games.
"They were doing a good job of working it around the perimeter at first and got us out of position and then worked it inside later," said Bret Hedican. "They've got a lot of powerful forwards who can score goals and unfortunately, we took too many penalties."
It was a rare poor first period for the Hurricanes, who had allowed just 11 goals in the opening period in 18 games before Buffalo's three-goal outburst.
"It was an awful first period," said Mike Commodore. "Down 3-0 to any team is tough to come back, especially a team that has lost one or two games all year. They are an explosive team and it was just too much."
Coach Peter Laviolette said his club paid for a poor opening 20 minutes and warned them at the break that it could get worse if they didn't pick up the pace.
"When you take three penalties and you're getting outshot 10-1 and you're not skating, you're not going to do much," Laviolette said. "It ended up costing us the game."
Carolina trailed 3-0 more than halfway through the game before getting on the board on a controversial goal midway through the second. The power play goal came after a lengthy review as Justin Williams rammed in a centering pass from Brind'Amour.
The Canes missed out on a golden opportunity three minutes after the Williams goal as Ray Whitney's pass to a wide open Brind'Amour in the slot kicked off his skate and he never got a shot off. Whitney made amends a minute later by lifting a Mike Commodore rebound from close quarter over the shoulder of Biron.
Brind'Amour almost tied it with 1:54 left in the period with a slap shot that hit the right post, sending the high-paced game into the third with the Canes trailing 3-2.
"We were pressing pretty good into the third period and then they got a few funny bounces," said Laviolette.
"All games are important and unfortunately we let one slip away tonight," said Laviolette. "We'll refocus and get back to work. When you take a step backwards it seems like six teams are taking a step forwards. That's why it is important to put your foot on the gas after wins."
David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.
|PPG - Thomas Vanek (11) ASST: Derek Roy (10), Teppo Numminen (9)|
1 - 0 BUF
|Jason Pominville (11) ASST: Daniel Briere (17), Brian Campbell (12)|
2 - 0 BUF
|Jochen Hecht (4) ASST: Dmitri Kalinin (4), Daniel Briere (18)|
3 - 0 BUF
|PPG - Justin Williams (7) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (18), Bret Hedican (4)|
3 - 1 BUF
|Ray Whitney (7) ASST: Mike Commodore (8), Bret Hedican (5)|
3 - 2 BUF
|Rod Brind'Amour (7) ASST: Ray Whitney (17), Mike Commodore (9)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Adam Mair (1) ASST: Thomas Vanek (11), Derek Roy (11)|
4 - 3 BUF
|PPG - Derek Roy (3) ASST: NONE|
5 - 3 BUF
|PPG - Paul Gaustad (3) ASST: Dmitri Kalinin (5), Teppo Numminen (10)|
6 - 3 BUF
|Scott Walker (9) ASST: Justin Williams (11), Andrew Hutchinson (2)|
6 - 4 BUF
|EN - Jochen Hecht (5) ASST: Chris Drury (8), Teppo Numminen (11)|
7 - 4 BUF
|Bret Hedican Tripping against Daniel Briere|
|Ray Whitney Tripping against Thomas Vanek|
|Justin Williams Hi-sticking against Brian Campbell|
|Thomas Vanek Hooking against Andrew Hutchinson|
|Chris Drury Hi-sticking against Eric Staal|
|Ray Whitney Interference against Jason Pominville|
|Ales Kotalik Hooking against Glen Wesley|
|Erik Cole Elbowing against Brian Campbell|
|Bret Hedican Hooking against Paul Gaustad|
|Jason Pominville Tripping against Chad LaRose|
|Mike Commodore Tripping against Daniel Briere|
|Erik Cole Interference against Chris Drury|
|Jochen Hecht Hooking against Eric Belanger|
|Daniel Briere Tripping against Eric Staal|
|Ray Whitney Hooking against Teppo Numminen|
|SA: 35||TOI: 59:50|
|Saves: 31||EV: 25 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 6|
|SV%: .886||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 33||TOI: 58:48|
|Saves: 27||EV: 20 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 10|
|SV%: .818||SH: 0 - 0|