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Jokinen scores winner for Hurricanes

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jussi Jokinen snapped a third-period tie and added an assist, and backup Manny Legace made 28 saves in the Carolina Hurricanes' 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

Jokinen's slap shot from the top of the left circle beat goalie Ryan Miller with 3:17 to go to snap Carolina's two-game losing streak.

Eric Staal had a goal and assist, and Aaron Ward and Tom Kostopoulos also scored for Carolina. The Hurricanes have won five of their last seven to improve to 20-30-7.

Legace started in place of Cam Ward, who was sent home for treatment on an upper-body injury. Coach Paul Maurice said Ward, who played in 26 of the previous 27 games after returning from a leg laceration, stiffened up on the team's flight from Calgary to Buffalo following a loss Wednesday night.

Appearing in just his fifth game in the last 28, Legace experienced a scare before the game even started. In pregame warmups he was stunned by Aaron Ward's slap shot, and was down on the ice clutching his upper chest area for a couple of minutes before skating off.

Drew Stafford scored twice, Andrej Sekera had a goal and two assists, and Miller made 23 saves for the slumping Sabres (32-17-7), who have lost three straight in regulation for the first time this season.

The two teams combined for five third-period goals, with Staal starting things by giving Carolina a 2-1 lead with his team-leading 20th of the season just 34 seconds into the period.

Stafford tied it 24 seconds later, then gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead 2 minutes later when his slap shot from the point bounced high in the air before ricocheting off Legace's back and in.

Kostopoulos tied it at 3 with 11:37 left, tapping in a slick pass from Sergei Samsonov

Carolina struck first when Aaron Ward scored his first of the season with just under 7 minutes to go in the first period. From the right circle, Ward snapped a shot that eluded Miller along the ice.

Sekera tied it for Buffalo with 1:25 to go in the first, scoring his second goal in two games with a slap shot from the point.

NOTES: Staal stretched his points streak to a career-high 11 games. ... Carolina G Justin Peters was recalled from Albany of the AHL to replace Cam Ward. ... Aaron Ward's goal was his first in 68 games. ... Legace had played just 7 minutes since Christmas. ... The Sabres are 2-6-1 in their last nine games. ... Sabres LW Thomas Vanek had two assists.