Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Sabres fell behind early on Wednesday night and were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1, at KeyBank Center.
An early power play chance for the Hurricanes resulted in the game's first goal. Sebastian Aho was camped at the side of the Sabres net and deflected a Teuvo Teravianen pass into the goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The score came while Tage Thompson was in the penalty box for hooking.
Carolina doubled the lead midway through the first period by moving the puck effectively through the neutral zone and into the offensive end. Stefan Noeson converted at the end of the play for his ninth goal of the season, doubling Carolina's lead to 2-0.
Less than three minutes later, more smooth passing resulted in the third Hurricanes' goal of the period. This time Brent Burns moved into the slot and scored his 10th goal of the season. The defenseman's goal increased the Sabres deficit to 3-0.
Alex Tuch was able to score quickly off of a face-off to get the Sabres on the scoreboard late in the opening period. His 24th goal of the season made the score 3-1, and Henri Jokiharju was credited with the lone assist.
Tyson Jost was called for roughing midway through the middle period, giving Carolina their second power play of the night. The forward's retaliation penalty was killed off by Buffalo, and kept the score at 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
The first Sabres power play came late in the middle stanza after Jalen Chatfield was called for holding. Despite a couple of chances late on the man advantage, Buffalo was unable to score and trim the deficit.
Carolina re-gained their three goal lead midway through the third period on just their second shot of the frame. Derek Stepan scored his fifth goal of the season with 9:30 remaining in regulation to push the Hurricanes lead to 4-1.
Buffalo was without Thompson for the third period. He appeared to be nursing an injury in the middle period, and was not on the bench for the final 20 minutes.
Jordan Martinook scored an empty-net goal to extend Carolina's lead late in regulation to 5-1. The goal came with Chatfield in the penalty box for delay of game.
BUF: 14:45 - Alex Tuch (24) (Henri Jokiharju)
CAR: 2:35 - Sebastian Aho (23) PPG (Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov); 10:05 - Stefan Noeson (9) (Matrin Necas, Jesperi Kotkaniemi); 12:47 - Brent Burns (10) (Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Jalen Chatfield)
CAR: 10:30 - Derek Stepan (5) (Stefan Noeson, Jalen Chatfield); 18:19 - Jordan Martinook (11) ENG (Jordan Staal)
BUF: 1:23 - Tage Thompson (Hooking - 2 min.)
BUF: 6:57 - Tyson Jost (Roughing - 2 min.)
CAR: 14:14 - Jalen Chatfield (Holding - 2 min.)
CAR: 0:46 - Brent Burns (High sticking - 2 min.); 11:31 - Brady Skjei (Slashing 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Antti Raanta - CAR
2.) Stefan Noeson - CAR
3.) Jesperi Kotkaniemi - CAR
The Sabres, and the rest of the NHL, will enjoy the All-Star break. Buffalo will then head to their bye week before welcoming the Calgary Flames to KeyBank Center on Saturday, Feb. 11 for a 12:30 p.m. EST faceoff.