BUFFALO - Despite seeing two leads evaporate in the third period, the Carolina Hurricanes prevailed over the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4, in overtime.
Dougie Hamilton netted the game-winning goal in the extra session, while Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen each recorded three points (1g, 2a) to help lead the Canes to their 10th straight victory over the Sabres, the team's longest winning streak against any NHL opponent in franchise history.
Here are five takeaways from snowy Buffalo.
1. Sticking With It
Having swung some momentum back their way with a goal in the last five minutes of the second period, the Sabres then twice erased one-goal deficits in the third period to force extra hockey.
But the Hurricanes, to their credit, didn't stop fighting and eventually scored the goal that ended the game in overtime.
"It was a pretty hard game. It was kind of going up and down," Svechnikov said. "I think we could have won that game without OT, but it's all right."
"I think the game was pretty sloppy all around. The third period was even sloppier, I guess. We stuck with it. That's the biggest thing," Hamilton said. "We had some ups and downs in the game, but we just kept going."
"It felt like you never know who was going to get the last goal kind of thing," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "All in all, it was a good two points."
And, in the end, that's what matters.
2. Dougie Wins It
Dougie Hamilton scored his ninth goal of the season, tied for the team lead, to lift the Canes to victory in overtime, but his goal doesn't happen without the spectacular play of rookie Martin Necas.
"He's got so much skill," Brind'Amour said. "He was able to make a great play."
Necas fired up the jets in the neutral zone and skated around the Sabres' defense to cut toward the net. Though he didn't get a good chance off, he was able to lay the puck off for Hamilton along the near wing for the one-timer. Ballgame.
Video: CAR@BUF: Hamilton fires one-timer for game-winner
"Marty built up really good speed and took it to the net. I was hoping he'd be able to score there. I just saw that he kind of lost it or whatever," Hamilton said. "He bumped it to me, and I was trying to decide if I should shoot it or not, so I just shot it. That was that."
3. Back and Forth in the Third
Down 3-1 heading into the final quarter of the second period, the Sabres got some momentum back when Curtis Lazar scored a breakaway goal. From there, even into the third period, they weren't going to go quietly into the night.
"I thought we had a real good game up until the last little bit of the second period when they got that one. It was a bad break, really. They go for a breakaway, and then all of a sudden it kind of flipped," Brind'Amour said. "They got going and got some momentum. Up until that point, it was pretty quiet. They came and kind of put the hammer down on us a little."
In the third period, the Canes were looking to exit the zone and seemed positioned well to be able to do so. From along the wall in the far corner, Brett Pesce hit Ryan Dzingel, who called for the puck and was wide open in the middle of his own zone. The puck glanced off his stick, though, and ended up on the tape of Henri Jokiharju, who took advantage of the Canes' miscue and tied the game at three.
Just a couple minutes later, the Canes took charge on a critical power-play opportunity. Andrei Svechnikov loaded the cannon from the left circle and wired home his eighth of the season to restore the Canes' one-goal lead.
Video: CAR@BUF: Svechnikov rips go-ahead PPG in the 3rd
"He's got one of the best shots in the league from that spot. Whenever you can try to get him there and get him to take it, you've got to get that. It's a perfect play for him," Hamilton said. "I told him before the draw, 'Make sure you shoot, shoot, shoot,' and he says the same thing to me."
The Sabres again tied the game with just 40 seconds left in regulation, Jeff Skinner's shot deflecting off an unsuspecting Johan Larsson in front.
4. Power Play Capitalizes
The Canes found the back of the net twice on the power play, the third straight game in which they've converted on the man advantage. Svechnikov's goal was obviously a crucial tally, and the Canes were able to claim a lead late in the first period on the power play, as well.
"Special teams are huge," Brind'Amour said. "We needed it. We weren't all that crisp in the second half of the game, and we needed those goals."
Teuvo Teravainen, stick-handling the puck from the right circle, fired the puck to Sebastian Aho, who ninth goal of the season on a deflection from the slot. The goal was Aho's sixth in the first seven games of November.
Video: CAR@BUF: Aho tips puck past Hutton for a PPG
"That's one of our set plays," Teravainen said. "When I got the puck, I didn't have a good shot, so I would rather pass it to someone."
Speaking of Aho and Teravainen, the two hooked up again early in the second period to double the Canes' lead on a gorgeous bang-bang play around the net. Svechnikov dished off a no-look, backhand pass to the near side of the net, where Aho was ready and waiting to bang the puck in.
Video: CAR@BUF: Teravainen tips Aho's shot home
It appeared to be his goal, and he celebrated as such, but upon closer look, Teravainen's stick blade wobbled as the puck glanced off it on the way to the back of the net.
"I wasn't sure, but I saw a little black mark on the toe of my stick, so I was thinking maybe," Teravainen smiled.
Teravainen swiped that one for his fifth of the season; but, to be fair, recall Los Angeles in mid-October, when Aho stationed himself in front of an empty-net where Teravainen's dribbler glanced off him to seal the team's shutout win. It all comes out in the wash.
"[Teravainen] was great all night and has been great all year," Brind'Amour said. "He's such a smart player, both offensively and defensively. He's a huge part of what we're doing."
5. Staal With the Fadeaway
The Canes fell in an early 1-0 hole after Skinner scored his fifth goal in four games against his former team in the first period, but that lead lasted just about eight minutes.
Jordan Staal retrieved a dump in behind the net and circled back around with the puck. His initial shot was blocked by Marco Scandella, but the puck bounced back to Staal, who then floated a shot past Carter Hutton, a shot reminiscent of a fadeaway bucket in basketball. Warren Foegele provided the screen in front, tying up Henri Jokiharju and preventing the Sabres defender from getting a hand on the fluttering puck.
Video: CAR@BUF: Staal gets puck to fly past Hutton
"That guy deserves a couple of breaks. He's had so many opportunities this year," Brind'Amour said. "It's nice to see him get on the board."
The goal was Staal's 100th with the Canes and snapped a seven-game pointless streak for the captain. Jordan and Eric are now the ninth pair of brothers in NHL history to each score at least 100 goals with the same team.
The Hurricanes head to Minnesota for a matinee faceoff against the Wild on Saturday.