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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres (Game 6)

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes


Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres

Game 6, Eastern Conference Finals Series “M”
Tuesday, May 30, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
HSBC Arena, Buffalo, N.Y.

TICKETS | Listen LIVE! (7:30 p.m.)

Tonight's Game

The Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres play Game 6 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series on Tuesday at HSBC Arena (7:30 p.m., OLN, Hurricanes Radio Network). Buffalo took Game 1 of the series by a 3-2 score on May 20 at the RBC Center before the Hurricanes struck back with a 4-3 victory on May 22. Buffalo scored a 4-3 home win on May 24 before the Hurricanes posted a 4-0 win on Friday to tie the series 2-2. In Sunday’s Game 5, Cory Stillman notched the overtime game winner to break a 3-3 deadlock and give Carolina a 3-2 series lead. The Hurricanes advanced to the Conference Finals by virtue of a 4-1 series win against the New Jersey Devils in the semifinal round. Buffalo defeated Ottawa in five games to advance to the third round.

The Hurricanes are scheduled to practice at the RBC Center on Wednesday at noon in advance of a possible Game 7 on Thursday (7:30 p.m., OLN, Hurricanes Radio Network).

Television: OLN
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network – WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh – flagship), WYSR 1590 AM (High Point), WMFD 630 AM (Wilmington)
Internet: www.carolinahurricanes.com

Hurricanes Current Streaks

  • Center Eric Staal has earned points in 15 straight games (4/24-5/28: 7g, 13a)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman has points in six straight games (5/14-5/28: 4g, 4a)
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle has points in four straight games (5/22-5/28: 1g, 3a) with assists in three straight (5/24-5/28: 0g, 3a)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has points in four straight games (5/22-5/28: 2g, 2a)
  • Center Doug Weight has points and assists in four straight games (5/22-5/28: 0g, 4a)
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has points and assists in two straight games (5/26-5/28: 0g, 2a)
  • Right wing Mark Recchi has points and goals in two straight games (5/26-5/28: 2g, 0a)

Injury Report

  • Left wing Erik Cole, no timetable, fractured vertebra, missed last 21 games of the regular season and 16 playoff games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

May 30 HSBC Arena 11:30 a.m.
May 31 RBC Center 12:00 p.m.
June 1 RBC Center 10:30 a.m.

*All times are local… Times and locations subject to change

Carolina Notes

With the primary assist on Rod Brind’Amour’s game-tying power-play goal in Game 5 against Buffalo, Hurricanes center Eric Staal extended his postseason points streak to 15 games (4/24-5/28: 7g, 13a). Staal’s streak is the longest postseason points streak since Jaromir Jagr’s 11-game streak in 1996 (4/17-5/11: 10g, 8a). Pavel Bure was the last player to have a postseason points streak of more than 11 games. Bure recorded a 16-game postseason points streak in 1994 (4/22-5/31: 13g, 10a) during Vancouver’s 24-game run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Bryan Trottier holds the NHL record for longest points streak in one playoff year when he recorded 11 goals and 18 assists (29 points) in 18 consecutive games with the New York Islanders in 1981.

Staal leads all NHL players with 20 postseason points, 12 power-play points and 65 shots on goal, and ranks tied for the league lead with 13 postseason assists and five power-play goals. His seven power-play assists rank tied for second in the league this postseason. Staal finished the 2005-06 regular season ranked seventh in the NHL with 100 points, eighth with 45 goals and tied for 16th with 55 assists while playing in all 82 of Carolina’s games.

Against the Sabres

The Hurricanes and the Sabres met four times during the 2005-06 regular season, with Carolina posting a 3-1-0 record in the four-game set. Buffalo’s lone win came in the final game of the season, a 4-0 shutout at the RBC Center on April 18. Carolina took the teams’ first meeting on Nov. 9 at HSBC Arena by a 5-3 margin, and scored a 4-3 shootout win in Raleigh on Feb. 12, the final game before the Olympic break. Carolina also scored a 4-3 win on March 22 at Buffalo. Cory Stillman (1g, 4a) led all Hurricanes in scoring against Buffalo in the regular season posting five points. J-P Dumont, Thomas Vanek and Maxim Afinogenov each posted four points to lead the Sabres in scoring. Martin Gerber played all four games against the Sabres, posting a 3-1-0 record, a 3.19 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage in the four games. Ryan Miller played two games for Buffalo against Carolina, going 0-1-0 with a 3.38 goals-against average and an .879 save percentage. Martin Biron posted a 1-1-1 record against Carolina in 2005-06, with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. For a detailed breakdown of the 2005-06 series between the teams, please go to page 96 in the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes Playoff Guide.

This marks the first ever playoff series between the Carolina franchise and Buffalo.

May 28, 2006
Hurricanes 4, Buffalo 3 (OT)

Cory Stillman found the net 8:46 into the extra frame to complete a Hurricanes come-from-behind victory at the RBC Center in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After falling behind 3-1 when Toni Lydman scored 1:55 into the second frame, Carolina Coach Peter Laviolette replaced starting netminder Martin Gerber with rookie Cam Ward. Right wing Mark Recchi banged home a Doug Weight pass three and a half minutes later to make the score 3-2. Less than five minutes after Recchi’s goal, Captain Rod Brind’Amour buried his eighth playoff goal while Buffalo’s Jay McKee served a two-minute hooking penalty. The teams played the final 29:56 of regulation without scoring before Stillman’s second overtime winner of 2006. Ward made 15 saves on 15 shots in relief to be named second star of the game and center Eric Staal had the primary assist on Brind’Amour’s power-play goal to extend his points streak to 15 games.

May 26, 2006
Hurricanes 4, Buffalo 0

Martin Gerber made his first start since April 24 and made 22 saves on 22 Sabres shots earn first-star honors, record his first NHL postseason shutout and help the Hurricanes tie their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series 2-2. Mark Recchi opened the scoring when he tipped Frantisek Kaberle’s shot past Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller 6:54 into the first period. Eric Staal was named second star of the game as the 21-year old center continued his points streak with a wrist shot that found the inside of the far post during a power play three minutes after Recchi’s goal. Just 2:10 into the second period, rookie winger Andrew Ladd chipped in the rebound of a Doug Weight shot for Ladd’s first NHL postseason goal and a 3-0 Carolina lead. Defenseman Bret Hedican put the icing on the cake with less than four minutes remaining when he notched his first goal of the 2006 playoffs. Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward earned an assist on Recchi’s goal, logged 24 minutes of ice time and recorded three hits to be named third star.

May 24, 2006
Buffalo 4, Hurricanes 3

After Carolina took a 1-0 lead on Cory Stillman’s fifth goal of the postseason, the Sabres scored four straight goals to take a 4-1 lead 12:55 into the second period. Stillman struck again with 1:42 remaining in the second period to make the score 4-2 going into the second intermission, but the Sabres held off the Hurricanes’ third-period attack until Eric Staal notched his sixth goal of the playoffs on the power play to make the score 4-3. Carolina coach Peter Laviolette replaced goaltender Cam Ward after Ales Kotalik gave Buffalo a 4-1 lead with 7:05 remaining in the second frame. Martin Gerber stopped all seven Sabres shots he faced in the game’s final 27 minutes.

May 22, 2006
Hurricanes 4, Buffalo 3

Carolina winger Ray Whitney became the 17th player in franchise history to score two goals in a playoff game (he was also the 16th when he did so on May 6 against New Jersey) when he found the net twice in the second period. Whitney’s first marker gave Carolina a 2-1 lead and came when he redirected Eric Staal’s shot past Buffalo netminder Ryan Miller. The assist extended Staal’s franchise-best postseason points streak to 12 games, the longest such streak since Pavel Bure’s in 1994. Whitney gave Carolina a two-goal lead when he blasted a Matt Cullen centering pass past Miller nearly seven minutes after his first goal. Justin Williams gave the Hurricanes the insurance goal it would need when his shot from the blue line caromed off of Miller’s glove and into the net. Chris Drury took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to bring Buffalo to within two goals, and Derek Roy scored with less than three seconds remaining to make the score 4-3. Cam Ward stopped 16 of 19 shots he faced to earn the win for the Hurricanes. Defenseman Glen Wesley earned the game’s second star for his stellar defensive effort that included five blocked shots and a third-period play that saved a goal.

May 20, 2006
Buffalo 3, Hurricanes 2

Henrik Tallinder notched his second goal of the playoffs 2:56 into the game before Rod Brind’Amour evened the scored 1-1 less than 10 minutes later as the Hurricanes and the Sabres got acquainted in the first game of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series. The game remained tied 1-1 until Daniel Briere sneaked a backhander into the Carolina net 9:41 into the second frame. The Sabres carried a 2-1 lead into the third period until Jay McKee scored eight seconds after being released from the penalty box to give Buffalo a two goal lead. Mike Commodore scored his first NHL playoff goal with 2:53 remaining in the third period during a Sabres power play to make the score 3-2 and giving Carolina its first shorthanded goal of the postseason. Eric Staal earned the second assist on Commodore’s goal to extend his points streak to 11 games. Cam Ward took his second loss in nine playoff starts, stopping 24 of 27 Buffalo shots. Ryan Miller earned the win for the Sabres, stopping 29 of 31 shots he faced.

PLAYOFF STATISTICS

Carolina
GP
G
A
PTS
12 Staal
16
7
13
20
61 Stillman
16
7
9
16
17 Brind'Amour
16
8
5
13

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
29 Gerber
6
3.53
1-1
.856
30 Ward
14
2.09
10-4
.918


Sabres
GP
G
A
PTS
23 Drury
16
9
8
17
48 Briere
15
8
8
16
17 Dumont
15
6
7
13

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Miller
16
2.58
10-6
.908
43 Biron
0
0.00
0-0
0
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