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game recap

Aho, Hurricanes hand Sabres fifth straight loss

Forward scores winner late in third period

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Sebastian Aho scored at 15:15 of the third period to help the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Aho, playing his 100th NHL game, gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. He picked up a loose puck after a pass from Teuvo Teravainen skipped over the stick of Sabres defenseman Justin Falk, skated in against Chad Johnson and beat him with a wrist shot for his third goal of the season.

"I think [Aho] is really coming right now," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "The confidence that he has to play with and hang on to pucks is important and that's a good line for us right now."

 

[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Sabres highlights]

 

After not scoring in his first 15 games, Aho has had a goal in three straight.

"I think I'm playing the same way, it's just you get the first one, it's easier to get, so I think that's just the key," Aho said.

Joakim Nordstrom scored an empty-net goal at 19:19 of the third that made it 3-1.

Scott Darling made 24 saves for the Hurricanes (8-6-4), who have won four of their past six games. The Sabres (5-11-4) have lost five straight.

Video: CAR@BUF: Williams opens scoring with nifty wrister

"It is testing my patience," said Sabres coach Phil Housley, whose team lost 3-1 at the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. "I thought the last game in Detroit was really the end of my wick as far as remaining patient and making some adjustments and addressing that. I thought tonight they get the break to get the second goal, we had opportunities to score and get it 2-1 and that's the difference in the hockey game. I still feel that we're all not on the same page and we're going to continue to work on that."

Justin Williams gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at 14:46 of the second period. He exited the penalty box and received a pass from Marcus Kruger, then skated deep into the Sabres zone before pulling up and taking a wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Johnson for his third goal.

"I've been passing up a lot of opportunities lately and I almost blew that one too," Williams said. "I'm happy to get one to help the team."

Evander Kane made it 1-1 at 12:27 of the third period when he skated in against Darling and beat him through the five-hole with a wrist shot for his 11th goal.

Video: CAR@BUF: Kane beats Darling through the wickets

Kane nearly put Buffalo ahead 10 seconds later, but his goal was overturned on video review after it was determined he kicked the puck past Darling.

"I didn't agree with it," Kane said. "You go hard to the net. I … was pretty self-conscious of not making a kicking motion and kicking the puck in the net."

Johnson made 30 saves.

 

Goal of the game

Aho's game-winner at 15:15 of the third period.

Video: CAR@BUF: Aho beats Johnson on partial break

 

Saves of the game

Darling's saves against Kane at 4:04 of the third period.

Video: CAR@BUF: Darling makes two quick saves on Kane

 

Highlight of the game

Darling's save against Kyle Okposo at 18:58 of the first period.

Video: CAR@BUF: Darling sprawls to stone Okposo

 

They said it

"We played a great game tonight. The hockey gods shocking us a little bit with that bounce and got [Aho] the breakaway, but he made a great play and that's how close these games are going to be all year. It's nice to be on the right side of it." -- Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling

 

"I thought we got better as the game wore on and when you look at the game, it's a 1-1 game late in the third period. We battled back into the game but we make a mistake and it ends up in our net. I think the bottom line is they took advantage of our mistakes and we didn't take advantage of theirs." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley

 

Need to know

Teravainen has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past three games. … The Sabres have scored two or fewer goals in eight of their past 11 games (3-6-2). … Buffalo's first shot on goal came with 2:36 left in the first period.

 

What's next

Hurricanes: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNP, MSG-B, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Aho, Darling lead Canes past Sabres, 3-1

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