Andrej Sekera and the Hurricanes sent the Sabres to their fifth straight loss on Thursday, beating Buffalo 5-3 at First Niagara Center. Sekera haunted his former club with the eventual game-winner in the third period.
Cody Hodsgon staked the Sabres to a 1-0 first period lead with his 11th goal of the season. Steve Ott got the play started, flipping a long backhand pass toward the streaking Hodgson. Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison couldn't handle the bouncing puck, Hodgson scooped it up, walked in on Khudobin and blasted a shot just inside the near post.
The Hurricanes evened the score 1-1 on Jeff Skinner's 22nd. Skinner swiped the puck from Alex Sulzer and bullied his way to the net, sending a backhand shot over Jhonas Enroth's blocker.
Phil Varone picked up his first NHL point on the go-ahead goal at 3:20 of the second period, a backhand rebound for Brian Flynn. Varone took the intial shot, a point blank attempt that was stopped by Anton Khudobin, but Flynn wrapped around the net to poke in the rebound, putting Buffalo ahead 2-1. Carolina fought back with another equalizer 9:51 later thanks to an Alexander Semin wrist shot that beat Enroth high, finding the corner of the net.
Tyler Ennis put the Sabres back in front just 48 seconds into the third, sending a Drew Stafford rebound into the net. Stafford's chance rang off the post and came out to Ennis along the far wall. The Buffalo forward ripped the puck past the out-of-position Khudobin for his 11th of the year. Carolina came right back at 7:25 of the third with Semin's second of the night, making it 3-3. Just 2:25 later, Sekera put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time, sending a shot through traffic for the eventual game-winning goal. Jiri Tlusty added an empty net goal with less than a second remaining for the 5-3 final.
Enroth stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced, dropping his season record to 1-10-4. Enroth's only win of the season came on October 25, 2013 at Florida. The Sabres return to the ice on Saturday, visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. Hear the call on WGR 550 and the Buffalo Sabres Radio Network.
10:15 - BUF - Cody Hodgson (11) (Steve Ott)
12:28 - CAR - Jeff Skinner (22) (Unassisted)
16:19 - CAR - Steve Ott (2 min., cross checking)
3:20 - BUF - Brian Flynn (4) (Phil Varone, Marcus Foligno)
13:11 - CAR - Alexander Semin (11) (Andrej Sekera, Justin Faulk)
13:23 - CAR - Alexander Semin (2 min., hooking)
17:58 - CAR - Radek Dvorak (2 min., holding)
0:48 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (11) (Drew Stafford, Zenon Konopka)
7:25 - CAR - Alexander Semin (12) (Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty)
9:50 - CAR - Andrej Sekera (8) (Tuomo Ruutu, Mike Komisarek)
19:59 - CAR - Jiri Tlusty (8) (EN) (Andrej Sekera)
1:36 - BUF - Zemgus Girgensons (4 min. double minor, high sticking)
1:36 - CAR - Jay Harrison (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)
1:36 - BUF - Steve Ott (2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct)
CAR - Anton Khudobin (26 saves, 29 shots)
BUF - Jhonas Enroth (28 saves, 32 shots)
CAR - 0 of 4
BUF - 0 of 2
1.) CAR - Alexander Semin (2 G, 0 A)
2.) CAR - Andrej Sekera (1 G, 2 A)
3.) BUF - Tyler Ennis (1 G, 0 A)