Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho, for the second game in a row, teamed up for the overtime winner, securing a 3-2 victory against a much-improved Buffalo Sabres team that remains undefeated in the PNC Arena.
DeAngelo Gets His First Of The Year
Former Hurricane and former Rookie of the Year, Jeff Skinner, is having another good year as he’s tied for the lead with 6 goals for the Sabres and is always up for a game against the Canes. If memory serves me correctly, the Skinner trade has been the only transaction between the Sabres and Hurricanes.
Not sure why that is other than the weather.
Former Canes co-captain of the Stanley Cup ’06 team, Kevyn Adams, is the GM of the Sabres, and it’s good to see him bring the Sabres back to a competitive team. The Canes found themselves on their heels in the first half of the first period as Jordan Staal got nailed for 2 penalties on consecutive shifts. The Sabres’ top line is solid, with the 3 forwards and top 2 defensemen accounting for 50% of the Sabres’ goals. After the penalty kills were successfully over, the Sabres had a 6-1 shot advantage, with Antti Raanta looking solid in the net.
Raanta is going to once again anchor the goaltending tandem, as Freddie Andersen is out ‘indefinitely’ due to a blood clot. Pyotr Kochetkov was called up from Syracuse and will probably see action this coming weekend, as the Canes play back-to-back games.
After the penalty kills were over, the Canes took control of the period, popping off 9 more shots and frustrating the Sabres with no shots on goal. The Canes wasted little time on their only powerplay of the period. Tony DeAngelo started the play by dumping the puck deep into the Sabres’ zone.
All 3 Canes forwards were behind the net, with Sabre Jordan Greenway rimming the puck along the far boards. DeAngelo was in position on the right point, settling the puck, looked to the goal, saw 3 Sabres in front with Seth Jarvis in the high slot. DeAngelo sent a wrister 55′ that nicked Greenway, flipping high into the upper left corner for his first of the year.
If allowed, it would have been an assist for his own goal. A few minutes later, with the Sabres pressing, Raanta was on his game as he looked beat by Connor Clifton but made a great pad save.
After making a heady defensive play and stealing the puck, Jaccob Slavin made a hard head man pass to Jack Drury, who went in all alone, slamming the puck for the 5 hole, but Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen quickly closed his pads.
Lesson Learned On Sabres Goal
The Sabres tied the game early in the second. J.J. Peterka had a step on Jalen Chatfield, but Chatty used his speed and in a Slavin or DeAngelo fashion, manhandled Peterka to the ice. While on the ice, Peterka managed to center the puck in front of the crease, which went on Jarvis’ tape, but Alex Tuch caught Jarvis off guard, checking the puck loose, shooting, with Raanta making a sliding pad save, and the puck rebounding back to Tuch, who potted the puck into the completely open left side of the net. Lesson learned to quickly clear pucks from the dirty area.
The Canes squandered 3 powerplays in the second, but it wasn’t for the lack of shots. Buffalo seemed to be either in the way of a shot, read into that blocked, or the shots were not on net.
For the second game in a row, the Canes had over 60 shots either on net, blocked, or missed the goal. Andrei Svechnikov continues to look stronger every game, and while he didn’t get on the score sheet for a point, this was his best, albeit with a bad penalty in the third game this year.
Aho Assists to Skjei and Necas
With the SRO crowd getting antsy as the Canes continued to dominate play with nothing on the scoreboard to show for it, the Canes started to press. Rod Brind’Amour changed the forward lines a bit, and that small change made a difference. Early in the period, the Canes had the puck in the Sabres’ end, and while it was even strength, made it look like a powerplay, as they retained possession, passing at will, keeping their legs constantly moving.
Necas had the puck up high, dropped it off to Sebastian Aho on a set play that had Brady Skjei cutting on the back side, with Fishy hitting Skjei’s tape for a one-timer to put the Canes back up by 1. At the 8:32 mark, Svech tried a little too hard and got called for a boarding penalty that was avoidable. A minute into the powerplay, the Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin showed why he was the #1 overall pick ahead of #2 Svech and #3 Jesperi Kotkaniemi in the 2018 draft.
Dahlin got the puck in the neutral zone, crossed the Canes blue line, and just as Teuvo Teravainen went to cover him, banked the puck off the boards for a self-pass, then lasered a shot to the 4″ Raanta couldn’t cover as he was deep in the crease, hugging the near post. All you can say on that was a great shot. The teams really didn’t play for overtime, as both were aggressive yet careful for a costly turnover.
With regulation time winding down, for the second game in a row, the Canes went to overtime. The typical massive lineup of Staal, Slavin, and Brent Burns starting the OT, Staal won the draw, but it was the Sabres quicker to the puck. The Sabres managed 2 shots that Raanta blocked with the second save picked up by the Canes. As the Canes brought the puck up ice, the speed line of Fishy, Necas, and Skjei hit the ice. The Canes started a typical cautious play but quickly realized the Sabres trio had been on the ice for a while, so the speed ticked up a few notches.
All 3 Canes were skating in a circle in opposite directions, constantly dropping off the puck with each Cane picking up speed. Skjei had the puck, dropped off to Fishy who circled the far side with Necas using his phenomenal speed to crash the net, turned the blade of his stick to redirect the hard pass from Fishy into the net for the game-winner, much to the delight of the very partisan crowd.
The next home game is Wednesday, November 15, against the Flyers. Be there!