The Sabres, tied for 26th in the league with the man advantage,
scored three power-play goals for the first time this season -- two
on 5-on-3s in the first period -- and have scored at least one
power-play goal in seven of eight games.
"The game really was a special-teams match and we took
advantage of ours early and they didn't take advantage of theirs,"
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said.
"We had some tough times with it at certain times this season,
but right now it's working and winning us games," Satan said of
the power play.
Buffalo won its season-best fourth in a row, while the
Hurricanes are winless in seven (0-5-2) to remain in last place in
the NHL with 61 points -- two behind Pittsburgh with four games
"We've made some changes and there's some good chemistry,"
Ruff said. "There are guys having fun playing with each other.
When you get on a little bit of a roll you want to stay on it."
Carolina had an opportunity to get back into it early in the
third with more than seven minutes of power-play time, but couldn't
beat Mika Noronen, who stopped 39 shots to win his third game this
"Our power play wasn't very good," said Jeff O'Neill, who had
a game-high nine shots. "It essentially cost us the game.
"I thought 5-on-5 we worked hard and took the play to them the
majority of the time, but when it goes bad it goes bad."
The game between teams well out of the playoff picture drew a
near-sellout crowd of 17,677.
Brad DeFauw gave Carolina a 1-0 lead midway through the first
period before the Sabres scored twice over the final 6:50.
Satan tied it with his team-leading 25th after a questionable
cross-checking call against Ryan Bayda and a roughing penalty
behind the play to Bret Hedican. Satan then assisted on
Afinogenov's fifth just 27 seconds into Buffalo's second 5-on-3.
"When you put the skill players they have out on a 5-on-3 they
are almost certain to have quality chances," O'Neill said.
Briere gave the Sabres a 3-1 lead 34 seconds into the second as
Sean Hill's first-period tripping penalty carried over. Briere beat
Kevin Weekes, who is trying to play through a hand injury, with a
Meanwhile, the Sabres were short-handed in this one as
defensemen Rhett Warrener and Brian Campbell were under observation
in Buffalo after possibly being exposed to a mysterious and
potentially deadly respiratory illness.
"There is very little concern, but we're trying to be as
cautious as we can," Ruff said. "We're erring on the side of
'Let's make sure everything is OK.'"
Team spokesman Mike Gilbert said the decision to hold the
players back from traveling to North Carolina was a precaution, and
that neither has shown any signs of being infected with severe
acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
"When we first heard about it last night there was a concern by
everybody in the locker room," defenseman Jay McKee said. "But
we're all feeling pretty comfortable now."
"Once they explained the situation to us it looks like we
should be safe and that's a positive thing to hear," added Satan.
Satan has a five-game assist streak. ... Weekes was
nominated for the Masterton Trophy by the Carolina chapter of the
Professional Hockey Writers' Association for perseverance,
sportsmanship and dedication. ... Jeff Daniels earned his first
assist in 20 games on DeFauw's goal. ... The Hurricanes have been
outscored 75-43 in the first period.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: PNC Arena Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Referees: Shane Heyer, Ian Walsh Linesmen: Tim Nowak, Pierre Racicot
Attendance: 17,677 (94.4% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Brad DeFauw (3)
Assists: Jeff Daniels, Bruno St. Jacques
Miroslav Satan (25)
(Power Play) Assists: Daniel Briere, Tim Connolly
Maxim Afinogenov (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Taylor Pyatt, Miroslav Satan
Daniel Briere (22)
(Power Play) Assists: Jochen Hecht, J.P. Dumont