NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Carolina
(Tuesday, March 5th)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Buffalo 3
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists, Justin Peters made 37 saves in his first start of the season and the Carolina Hurricanes held off the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3.
Jussi Jokinen added a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who went 3-0 against Buffalo this season. Joe Corvo and Jiri Tlusty also lit the lamp in Carolina's fourth straight victory.
It was announced on Monday that Carolina goaltender Cam Ward will miss 6-to-8 weeks with a third-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament. With backup goaltender Dan Ellis (illness) also sidelined, Peters got the start on Tuesday.
"He's a competitor," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said of Peters. "You take good and bad (because) you're learning all the time. He's been wanting to be here and he showed that he's prepared himself. He's matured and he was ready for a big game and had a really strong effort tonight."
Cody Hodgson had two goals for the Sabres, who have lost two in a row. TJ Brennan added his first goal of the season.
Ryan Miller stopped 24-of-28 shots in defeat.
Each team scored once in the early stages of the third period. Thomas Vanek's shot from the high slot hit off the glass behind the net and landed in front of Peters. Hodgson was there to put home the rebound, cutting the gap to 2-1 just 25 seconds into the frame.
At the 1:15 mark, Jokinen lit the lamp to put Carolina ahead by two goals again. Staal gathered the puck behind the net and slid a pass in front for Jokinen's fifth of the year.
Brennan's power-play goal at the 14:33 mark got Buffalo within one, 3-2, as he one-timed a Jason Pominville's pass from the top of the right circle.
The back-and-forth battled continued as Semin's shot from the top of the right circle beat Miller at the 16:13 mark.
Hodgson's goal with 34.3 seconds remaining accounted for the final margin. Hodgson stole the puck from Eric Staal at center ice and made his way around a few defenders before beating Peters.
"It comes back to playing a full 60 minutes," Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers said. "It is what has gotten us in trouble the last three years. We have to find a way to start a game and finish it. We can't start playing when it's too late."
Just 1:31 into the game, Tlusty redirected Staal's pass from the top of the left circle to make it 1-0 Carolina.
The Hurricanes added a power-play goal at the 12:17 mark of the middle stanza as Corvo's shot from the top of the left circle beat traffic in front and got past Miller.
Buffalo's first power play of the game came at the 14:29 mark when Tlusty was sent to the penalty box for slashing. Despite being on the man advantage, Miller had to make a great save to keep it a two-goal contest. Semin and Staal skated in on a 2-on-0 rush, but Miller made a great glove save on the former's shot.
Peters responded with his own highlight-reel save with 1:17 remaining. In a goalmouth scramble, the puck squirted free to Vanek with an open net at the left post. Peters managed to reach across and steal a goal from Vanek with the barrel of his stick.
The Hurricanes also played without the services of defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body) and forwards Tim Brent (lower body) and Chad LaRose (concussion) ... Carolina started a three-game homestand on Tuesday ... Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta served the first of a five-game suspension for hitting Rangers center Brad Richards ... Vanek returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with an upper-body injury ... Staal had three assists ... Pominville had two assists for Buffalo ... Peters was recalled from Charlotte (AHL) on Monday.
03/06 00:32:01 ET