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Cam Ward, Cory Conacher
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (30) blocks the shot of Buffalo Sabres' Cory Conacher (88) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, March 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Hurricanes Outlast Neuvirth, Sabres 4-2

Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 51 shots, but it wasn't enough to stop the Carolina Hurricanes from beating Buffalo on Thursday 4-2. Andrej Sekera and Nathan Gerbe both recorded points against their former team.

Tyler Ennis was awarded a penalty shot about midway through the opening period following a Jiri Tlusty slash. Ennis took advantage of his opportunity, roofing a shot past Cam Ward for the 1-0 lead. The goal marked the Sabres' first successful penalty shot in nearly four years. Carolina evened the score just 2:58 later on Jeff Skinner's 26th of the season.

Neuvirth kept it 1-1 in the second period with several sparkling saves including back-to-back stops on Andrei Loktionov and Drayson Bowman. The Buffalo netminder first stoned Loktionov on a one-timer and then robbed Bowman on the point-blank rebound attempt. It was part of a busy second period for Neuvirth, who turned aside all 22 shots he faced. The Sabres offense managed only four shots on Ward during the second.

Buffalo took the lead at 8:43 of the final period thanks to Drew Stafford's third goal in three games. Cory Conacher worked hard behind the Carolina net to move the puck in front of Ward. Conacher's pass went off a skate and Stafford pounced, ripping it into the open net.

The Hurricanes went ahead later in the period with a couple of quick goals, the first coming courtesy of Alexander Semin on the power play. Semin's shot deflected off Mike Weber and past Neuvirth, making it 2-2. Just 1:55 later, Neuvirth was heavily screened by Jordan Staal and Jiri Tlusty took advantage, sending a laser into the Buffalo net for the 3-2 lead. Gerbe's empty-netter with 0.4 seconds remaining sealed the 4-2 win for the Hurricanes.

Buffalo has now dropped four straight games and stay on the road to face the New York Islanders on Saturday at 7 p.m. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network.

1st Period

10:22 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (17) (Penalty Shot) (Unassisted)
13:20 - CAR - Jeff Skinner (26) (Ryan Murphy, Elias Lindholm)

3:48 - CAR - Alexander Semin (2 min., hooking)
10:22 - CAR - Jiri Tlusty (penalty shot awarded for slashing)
17:42 - BUF - Cory Conacher (2 min., holding)

2nd Period


3:11 - BUF - Bench penalty (2 min., delay of game served by Cory Conacher)
16:42 - BUF - Henrik Tallinder (2 min., holding)
19:39 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (2 min., slashing)

3rd Period

8:43 - BUF - Drew Stafford (13) (Cory Conacher)
11:48 - CAR - Alexander Semin (18) (PPG) (Andrej Sekera, Jordan Staal)
13:43 - CAR - Jiri Tlusty (12) (Alexander Semin, Jordan Staal)
19:59 - CAR - Nathan Gerbe (14) (EN) (Patrick Dwyer, Eric Staal)

9:56 - BUF - Christian Ehrhoff (2 min., tripping)
15:25 - CAR - Jeff Skinner (2 min., goalkeeper interference)

BUF - Michal Neuvirth (51 saves, 54 shots)
CAR - Cam Ward (21 saves, 23 shots)

Power Plays
BUF - 0 of 2
CAR - 1 of 5

Three Stars
1.) CAR - Alexander Semin (1 G, 1 A)
2.) CAR - Jeff Skinner (1 G, 0 A)
3.) CAR - Jordan Staal (0 G, 2 A)

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