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game recap

Sabres rally late to defeat Hurricanes

Kane, Larsson score 1:00 apart in third period to erase 2-1 deficit

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- For a moment late in the third period, it looked like all hope was lost after the Buffalo Sabres squandered consecutive power plays and gave up the go-ahead goal to the Carolina Hurricanes six seconds later. 

But Evander Kane and Johan Larsson answered, scoring one minute apart to lift the Sabres to a 3-2 win against the Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Tuesday. 

"When they got the goal, it did pass through my mind that we gave up the opportunity to win the game," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. 

Buffalo (30-34-10) swept the three-game season series with Carolina (31-28-14). Goaltender Chad Johnson made 25 saves to improve his record to 7-1-0 against the Hurricanes, who have lost five in a row.

Video: BUF@CAR: Gionta feeds Larsson to put Sabres ahead

Joakim Nordstrom's 10th goal of the season gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead at 13:40 of the third on a wrist shot that beat Johnson. Nordstrom gathered a pass on the backhand before spinning away from Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen inside the blueline and driving the net. 

But that's when the Buffalo bench came alive. 

"Guys were saying we have six-and-a-half minutes left," Bylsma said. "We went all-out aggressive to get back in the hockey game." 

The Sabres needed less than three minutes to tie the game. Kane set up in the slot and buried Ryan O'Reilly's saucer pass from behind the net at 16:11. 

"He uses his stick and that blade for a reason," said Kane, who reached the 20-goal mark for the first time since 2011-12, when he scored 30. "He put his skill set to work. It was nice for him to find me in the slot there."

Video: BUF@CAR: O'Reilly feeds Kane for game-tying goal

One minute later, Brian Gionta stripped Jeff Skinner trying to exit the Carolina defensive zone and left a drop pass for Larsson, who scored off the right post for a 3-2 lead. 

"We were able to catch them in that mini-transition, with their guys going out," Gionta said. "We were able to find that soft spot in the slot and he made a nice shot on it."

The loss was deflating for the Hurricanes, who have scored nine goals in the five losses. 

"Just some mistakes, some individual mistakes obviously," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "A little bit of defensive-zone coverage." 

After Carolina successfully killed off Brad Malone's minor penalties for cross checking and unsportsmanlike conduct, Nordstrom's goal appeared to give the Hurricanes plenty of momentum. 

"We were in good shape," Peters said. "I thought our penalty kill was outstanding, probably the best part of our game."

Video: BUF@CAR: Nordstrom nets gorgeous go-ahead goal

Carlo Colaiacovo's first goal of the season gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 12:22 of the first period. His low shot from the left point deflected off of Malone's stick before sailing under the crossbar. Mark Pysyk and Marcus Foligno earned the assists. Colaiacovo's goal was his first with the Sabres in 34 games. 

"I had more time than I would usually have at that point and I decided to walk into it," Colaiacovo said. "Luckily it got a good bounce off that stick on the way in to the back of the net. I'm glad I was able to contribute." 

Johnson made two outstanding saves in the first to keep the Hurricanes off the scoreboard. He came across the crease to deny Jeff Skinner with the right pad and later, stopped Nathan Gerbe's tip-in chance at the top of the crease. 

Carolina tied the game at 1-1 on Chris Terry's seventh goal of the season at 12:10 of the second. Terry took a long cross-ice pass from Noah Hanifin and beat Johnson under his glove arm. 

The game was tight for stretches of the second and third until Buffalo's four-minute power play.

"We just couldn't get any momentum toward the net, and then they made a nice play on transition," Colaiacovo said. "That goal could have been crippling for us, but we took it as a challenge, showed some character and found a way to win."

Video: BUF@CAR: Terry buries Hanifin's pass with a one-timer

Despite the five-game losing skid, the Hurricanes had earned at least a point in seven of their past eight games. 

"I think we took our foot off the gas a little and made a couple mistakes that they capitalized on pretty quickly," Jordan Staal said. "And we're sitting here without any points." 

The Sabres, who defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime on March 12 in Buffalo, are 15-12-2 since Jan. 10. 

"Our second half has been much better than our first half was," Kane said. "We want to take pride in these last eight games and have a good feeling going into next year. It's something we're going to have to do in the future." 

Buffalo hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. Carolina plays at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

Video: Late heroics lift Sabres, 3-2 over Hurricanes

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