Sabres Weather the Storm, Down Hurricanes 3-1
Tim Connolly scored two goals in just his third multipoint game and first of the season as the Sabres won their final home game of January, 3-1.
Connolly scored the first 7:58 into the first, redirecting a shot by Toni Lydman past a screened Cam Ward. Teppo Numminen made it 2-0 with three and a half minutes to go but later left the ice after he was hit in the face by the puck while trying to block a shot.
"He's going to miss some time," Coach Lindy Ruff said. "We'll find out how much Sunday."
Connolly scored his second on the only goal of the second period snapping a wrister over Ward’s shoulder to make it 3-0. Thomas Vanek had two assists but has not scored a goal in the last 4 games, slipping into third in the league.
Ray Whitney led a furious third period surge by the Hurricanes, scoring on a break away just 17 seconds in to spoil the shut out. He slipped the puck through Miller’s legs, who was expecting him to pass it.
Ryan Miller was magnificent once again, stopping 36 shots to win his 21st of the season. He’s now 6-1 in the month of January with a 2.00 GAA and .943 save percentage.
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"Miller played great for us," Connolly said. "Whenever he plays like that we're probably going to win the hockey game."
Buffalo was out shot 19-5 in the third but was able to hold onto the win thanks to superb goaltending by Miller and a good power play kill but the Sabres still struggled to keep the puck out of their own zone.
Carolina did have a man advantage for nearly four minutes pulling goalie Cam Ward, who finished with 26 saves but lost his fifth straight, allowing 13 goals over that span.
The Sabres will travel to Florida to begin a six game road trip. They’ll play the Panthers Monday and the Lightning Wednesday before heading into the all star break.
ProHockey-fans.com Buffalo Sabres Correspondent
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