After losing Thursday night’s game to the Hurricanes in Carolina by a score of 6-3, the Sabres hoped to get back on track at home against the Hurricanes the following night on Friday, Jan. 25.
However, the Hurricanes got the better of the Sabres again, this time by a 3-1 score.
After a scoreless first two periods, Thomas Vanek got the Sabres on the board just under two minutes into the third period. Vanek took the puck in the corner and skated into the high slot while taking a few slashes from Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen. He then took a wrist shot that beat Hurricanes goalie Dan Ellis for his third goal of the season, giving the Sabres a 1-0 lead.
The lead, however, didn’t last very long.
Sabres forward Marcus Foligno took a high-sticking penalty less than a minute after Vanek’s goal. On the ensuing power play for the Hurricanes, Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr tried tapping the puck to teammate Tyler Myers out of the corner of the defensive zone, but Hurricanes forward Alex Semin took the puck and sniped it over Ryan Miller’s glove to tie the game at 1-1.
With 4:50 remaining in the period, Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison broke the tie with a slapper from the point directly off of a faceoff that went over Ryan Miller’s shoulder, giving the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead.
The Sabres were unable to get the equalizer in the final 4 minutes, and Jeff Skinner iced the game for the Hurricanes with an empty-net goal with 25.2 seconds remaining, ensuring them their second straight victory over the Sabres, this time by a score of 3-1.
Both goalies faced 41 shots during the game, but Hurricanes goalie Dan Ellis was able to make 40 saves to Ryan Miller’s 39. While both goalies played well enough to win, in the end the Hurricanes prevailed with better goal support from their offense.
With the loss, the Sabres fall to 2-2-0 after the first four games of this lockout-shortened season.
The Sabres next game will be on Sunday, Jan. 27th in Washington, where they face the Capitals at 3 p.m.