Posted March 08, 2012 on
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New York Islanders
Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville didn't know how to react, because he wasn't initially sure whether his one-timer from the left circle 56 seconds into overtime actually went in.
''I didn't see it,'' Pominville said. ''I just blanked out.''
Don't look now, but here come the Sabres after Pominville secured a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Regarded as one of the NHL's biggest flops a mere six weeks ago, the Sabres (31-28-8) are on a 12-4-3 roll that's allowed them to go from 14th place in the Eastern Conference standings into a tie with Washington for ninth - two points behind Winnipeg for the eighth and final playoff spot.
''It's huge. We're making steps,'' said Pominville, who added an assist. ''We're playing better hockey. We've dug ourselves in a big hole that isn't easy to get ourselves out of. But we believe.''
Pominville's goal came with 10 seconds left in Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen's hooking penalty. Parked atop the left circle, Pominville took a pass from Christian Ehrhoff and blasted it inside the far post. Goalie Cam Ward appeared to be screened by defenseman Jay Harrison.
Thomas Vanek had a goal and assist, and Tyler Myers also scored for Buffalo, which bounced back from a 3-1 loss at Winnipeg on Monday night.
The Sabres are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games in a run that's reminiscent of a year ago, when they closed the season 16-4-4 to earn a playoff spot on the final weekend.
''It's nice to have a chance at it,'' said Ryan Miller, who stopped 22 shots. ''We just have to be excited for this opportunity. There's a lot of hockey left to be played.''
Jaroslav Spacek and Chad LaRose scored for the Hurricanes, who ran out of steam in being outshot 25-17 in the first two periods, and 42-24 overall.
Time is running out for the Hurricanes (25-27-15), who moved into a tie for 13th with the New York Islanders. Carolina sits seven points back of Winnipeg with 15 games left.
''Our guys, you can tell by the way we're playing, we believe we can battle every night and keep picking up points,'' coach Kirk Muller said. ''We're scratching and clawing for every point.''
The trouble is, the Hurricanes continue to have difficulty winning on the road, where they're 8-14-9. Coming off a 4-3 overtime win at Washington a day earlier, the Hurricanes failed to win consecutive road games for the first time since October.
And they continue to struggle in games that go past regulation. Carolina dropped to 3-9 in overtime games, and is 0-6 in shootouts this season.
Lack of discipline cost the Hurricanes, who gave up two power play goals on seven chances.
''Those penalties, we've got to be a little more smarter about that,'' Spacek said. ''We didn't play a patient game in the end. A couple of penalties in the third period and it probably cost us the game.''
Carolina's power-power play lacked finish, too, failing to convert on three opportunities. And that included not getting a shot on goal while enjoying a two-man advantage spanning 1:21 in the third period.
Down 1-0 after Spacek opened the scoring 2:47 into the game, the Sabres carried much of the play in the second period. Buffalo scored twice in the first 1:02.
Myers tied it 22 seconds into the period when he blasted a shot from the right circle and the rebound caromed in off Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk.
Vanek scored 40 seconds later on a power play. Ward stopped Ehrhoff's point shot, but couldn't control the rebound. Parked in front, Vanek's initial backhander was stopped before he dug out the loose puck, turned toward the net and swept it in the open right side.
LaRose tied it 5:11 into the second period, converting Jeff Skinner's centering pass.
''This is our playoffs,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. ''We've put ourselves on a nice run, but it's one game at a time and being ready to pick up the two points and move on to the next game.''
Notes: Muller said C Tuomo Ruutu is expected to return at some point next week. Ruutu missed his 10th straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Hurricanes C Eric Staal had his 12-game points streak snapped. The streak was the team's longest since it moved to Carolina in 1997. ... Sabres rookie C Cody Hodgson and D Alexander Sulzer played their first games in Buffalo since being acquired in a trade that sent Zack Kassian and Marc-Andre Gragnani to Vancouver on Feb. 27. ... Sabres D Andrej Sekera did not play because of the flu.
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AROUND THE WEB
Jason Pominville scored on a power play 56 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers also scored to help the Sabres (31-28-8) jump into a tie with Washington for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Ryan Miller stopped 22 shots, Pominville and Vanek also had assists, and the Sabres...
Buffalo Sabes left wing Thomas Vanek suffered an upper-body injury in Thursday's loss to the Boston Bruinss.
Vanek was knocked out of the game when he was flattened by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk.
It's unclear if Vanek will miss any time. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said the injury was not head-related.
Vanek has 23 goals and 27 assists for Buffalo, which sits two points...
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Jason Pominville scored on a power play 56 seconds into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Thomas Vanek and Tyler Myers also scored to help the Sabres (31-28-8) jump into a tie with Washington for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. Ryan Miller stopped 22 shots, Pominville and Vanek also had...
Jason Pominville scored a power play goal just 56 seconds into overtime as the Buffalo Sabres took down the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in front of a sellout crowd at First Niagara Center. The win bumps Buffalo’s record to 7-1-2 in their last 10 games – tied for best in the NHL in that stretch. It was a game that saw Buffalo’s top line of Pominville, Derek Roy, and Thomas Vanek...
I saw Jordan Leopold in the Buffalo after the game in Buffalo last night. I told him that I thought he played like a beast against the Hurricanes.
"I don't feel like I played like a beast. Just another night".
Leopold was heavily involved in the game as he skated 29 shifts for 24:49 of TOI. 16;21 even strength, 3:54 short handed, and 4:34 PP.
Leo landed one...
Lindy Ruff was faced with a serious challenge on Wednesday morning.
Thomas Vanek hadn't scored in seven games and was mired in a nasty scoring slump. Derek Roy was also squeezing the stick too tight as a result of his scoring drought. Jason Pominville, like Vanek, had gone seven games since recording his last point.
Ruff was not happy with the play of the 26-9-29 line on...
The Sabres hit the ice at 10:15am for their game day skate. Not much time at all to re-set lines or to play around with new combinations.
Lindy Ruff is icing all of the same line trios that skated in Winnipeg.
Mike harrington of the Buffalo News tweeted that Derek Roy, the subject of line movement rumours, skated with Vanek and Pommer at in line rushes.
Everyone hits a point where they simply can't take ______ anymore.
For some it's people (I think I know a thing or two about that), others can't deal with the rigors of a mundane nine to five job, but for a team it simply hits a point where you get sick of losing games that you should win. I'm not sure that the Bruins could've handled dropping tonight'...
Dont' look now folks, but Buffalo is contending for a playoff spot. Two weeks ago they were basically dead to rights and now they're 2 points out of the 8th spot. That's a big jump considering that Buffalo went from potentially being the best team in the division, to getting injured and falling down the standings quicker than an old woman whose walker was kicked out from...
Three games in the next four nights. Jhonas Enroth has to get a start in one of these right?
I'd like to see Enroth get that start tonight. Let Miller rest for a game and give him starts the following three games, which are all against division teams.
Just because Miller has been playing well lately doesn't mean the Sabres should ride him to the ground. He's already...
Ryan Miller and Cam ward led their respective teams out onto the ice.
Warm-ups started six minutes ago.
Six D are on the ice, including Alex Sulzer. Andrej Sekera is not on the ice.
Sekera skated this morning.
(Welcome to the TD Garden for tonight's game between the Boston Bruins and visiting Buffalo Sabres.)
In the fifth installment in the 2011-12 chapter of the Bruins-Sabres rivalry, it'll finally be a night off for Buffalo's Ryan Miller after 21 straight starts. Turning to Jhonas Enroth for his first start since Feb. 18, a 15-save loss that saw him get chased against...
The Sabres lost twice in Boston. They lost 3-1 on the scoreboard. They lost Thomas Vanek to injury.
Game tied 1-1, third period, the Sabres lost their momentum and their 24 goal scorer in one fell swoop.
All Lindy Ruff would say after the 3-1 loss to Boston is that Thomas Vanek has suffered an upper body injury. Shoulder.
Johnny Boychuk was the perpetrator of Vanek'...
It was a light night and yet excitement rained down from the skies in a pair of one goal contests. Buffalo battled and won on a Jason Pominville overtime power play tally while Pittsburgh rallied from down 2-0 to win 3-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs. While it pushes Carolina and Toronto one step closer to elimination, it helps Pittsburgh in its push to catch...
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