Buffalo (36-15-4) at Carolina (38-14-4) 5:00 pm EST
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) - The Carolina Hurricanes can
potentially storm into the NHL's top spot heading into the
Olympic break with a win Sunday against the surging Buffalo
The Hurricanes, who have 80 points, are guaranteed to lead the
Eastern Conference at the break. But they could have their eyes
set on the top spot in the league, with Detroit holding a
one-point lead entering Sunday's game against Colorado.
However, Carolina has dropped two straight games following
Friday's 4-3 loss to league-worst Pittsburgh. Eric Staal had
two goals and an assist but the Hurricanes still clinched their
first back-to-back losses since a three-game skid from December
Contrastingly, Buffalo enters with momentum following eight
victories in its last nine games.
The Sabres, who are one win away from matching their total of
all of 2003-04, are coming off Saturday's 4-3 triumph over
Florida. Thomas Vanek scored twice and fellow rookie Jason
Pominville added a goal and an assist for Buffalo, which has
allowed three goals or fewer in five straight games.
The Hurricanes recorded a 5-3 victory in the lone matchup this
season on November 9 in Buffalo.