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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres (Game 5)

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes


Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres

Game 5, Eastern Conference Finals Series “M”
Sunday, May 28, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center, Raleigh, NC

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

Tonight's Game

The Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres play Game 5 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series on Sunday at the RBC Center (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. 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 will practice at the RBC Center on Monday at noon prior to traveling to Buffalo for Tuesday’s Game 6 (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 14 straight games (4/24-5/26: 7g, 12a)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman has points in five straight games (5/14-5/26: 3g, 3a)
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle has points in three straight games (5/22-5/26: 1g, 2a)
  • Right wing Justin Williams has points in three straight games (5/22-5/26: 1g, 2a)
  • Center Doug Weight has points and assists in three straight games (5/22-5/26: 0g, 3a)
  • Defenseman Aaron Ward has points and assists in two straight games (5/24-5/26: 0g, 2a)

Injury Report

  • Left wing Erik Cole, no timetable, fractured vertebra, missed last 21 games of the regular season and 15 playoff games

Hurricanes Practice Schedule

May 28 RBC Center 10:30 a.m.
May 29 RBC Center 12:00 p.m.
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 a power-play goal in Game 4 against Buffalo, Hurricanes center Eric Staal extended his postseason points streak to 14 games (4/24-5/26: 7g, 12a). 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.

Through games of May 26, Staal led all NHL players with 19 postseason points and 64 shots on goal, and ranked second with 12 postseason assists. Staal’s five power-play goals and 11 power-play points ranked tied for first in the league and his seven goals ranked tied for fifth through games of May 26. 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 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
15
7
12
19
61 Stillman
15
6
8
14
17 Brind'Amour
15
7
5
12

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
29 Gerber
5
3.00
1-1
.873
30 Ward
13
2.23
9-4
.914


Sabres
GP
G
A
PTS
48 Briere
15
7
10
17
23 Drury
15
8
8
16
17 Dumont
15
6
7
13

Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
30 Miller
15
2.51
10-5
.912
43 Biron
0
0.00
0-0
0
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