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Hurricanes-Sabres Preview @NHL
Hurricanes-Sabres Preview

GAME: Carolina Hurricanes (10-2-1) at Buffalo Sabres (7-7-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

When the Carolina Hurricanes take the ice Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres, they will look to set a franchise record for the longest winning streak and extend the best start in their history.

The Hurricanes have won seven consecutive games, tying the franchise record set March 16-25, 1985 by the Hartford Whalers.

During their current winning streak, Carolina has outscored its opponents 30-17. The Hurricanes also have rallied from two-goal deficits four times during the run,

"It seems like we're winning them in different ways," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said.

On Saturday, Carolina got third-period goals from Rod Brind'Amour and Niclas Wallin and Martin Gerber made 29 saves in a 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers.

Carolina is outscoring its opponents 24-8 in the third period this season.

Center Eric Staal has been key to the Hurricanes' success. He enters this contest having tallied six goals and 12 assists in an eight-game points streak.

The Sabres have also been streaking, but in the wrong direction. Buffalo has dropped three straight and has just one win in its last six overall.

"It's just frustration," Sabres center Daniel Briere said after Buffalo's 3-2 loss Saturday to the Montreal Canadiens. "We don't know where to go anymore. We don't know what is a penalty, and what's not. We're trying to bang some rebounds in, just going to the net."

Briere has 10 goals on the season, but has been held without a point the last two games. In his career against Carolina, Briere has only two goals and two assists in 13 games.

Briere has been held without a point in his last two games after registering eight goals and five assists in an eight-game points streak.

Right wing Maxim Afinogenov has five assists during a four-game run and all eight of his assists have come in the last eight games.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 8): Hurricanes - 21 points, 1st place, Southeast Division. Sabres - 14 points, 5th place, 9 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Hurricanes - Staal, 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points; Erik Cole, 26 PIM. Sabres - Briere, 10 goals and 16 points; Thomas Vanek, 9 assists; Jochen Hecht, 14 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 8): Hurricanes - Power play: 22.0 percent (19 for 86), 5th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.6 percent (62 for 75), 14th. Sabres - Power play: 20.2 percent (19 for 94), 8th. Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (54 for 67), 20th.

GOALTENDERS: Hurricanes - Cam Ward (5-1-1, 0 SO, 3.06 GAA); Gerber (5-1-0, 1, 2.12). Sabres - Martin Biron (1-2-0, 0, 4.66); Mika Noronen (0-1-0, 0, 7.27).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Sabres, 3-1-1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 25, 2004; Sabres 4-2. At Raleigh, N.C., Hecht had two goals and Biron made 37 saves, helping the Sabres erase a two-goal deficit.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hurricanes - 3-2-1 on the road; Sabres - 4-3-0 at home.

Associated Press
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