Final SO

Series (Game 2 of 4)

Carolina leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, November 9th
Game 2: Sunday, February 12th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 22nd
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18th

Sabres 3

(36-15-5, 77 pts)

Hurricanes 4

(39-14-4, 82 pts)

5:00 PM ET, February 12, 2006

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 SO T
BUF 0 3 0 03
CAR 1 1 1 14

E. Staal (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

J. Dumont (Sabres - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

E. Cole (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Buffalo (36-15-4) at Carolina (38-14-4) 5:00 pm EST

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 Sabres.

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 26-29.

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.