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Jussi Jokinen's shootout goal lifts Canes past the Sabres

NHL.com @NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. - Jussi Jokinen scored the winning goal in a shootout, and Cam Ward made 36 saves in the Carolina Hurricanes' 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

The Hurricanes moved into a tie with the Sabres in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Ward rebounded after being benched after one period in Carolina's 4-2 loss to Ottawa on Tuesday night, making a number of key stops against the Sabres.

The Hurricanes won for the fourth time in their last five games.

Patrick Kaleta scored Buffalo's only goal.

Patrick Lalime made 31 saves for the Sabres, who have lost two in a row since star goalie Ryan Miller sprained his ankle Saturday night against the New York Rangers.

After the first two shots in the shootout were stopped, Jokinen skated in, made a quick move and beat Lalime to the blocker side. Jason Pominville had Buffalo's best chance in the shootout, but his attempt hit the crossbar.

Carolina's Anton Babchuk tied it in the third period when he one-timed a slapshot from near the right faceoff circle past Lalime.

Buffalo's goal came in the second period when Ward stopped Clarke MacArthur's and Paul Gaustad's first two attempts on a scramble in front. Kaleta swooped in and converted on the Sabres' third chance.

Buffalo defenceman Jaroslav Spacek injured his leg with 12:56 remaining in the third period and didn't return. The Sabres also were without star forward Thomas Vanek, who has missed the last eight games with a broken jaw.

Sergei Samsonov didn't play for Carolina, missing his first game all season because of an injury.

Notes: Buffalo has taken at least 30 shots in each of its last eight games. ... Carolina's penalty kill has allowed 10 power-play goals in its last 18 games. ... The Hurricanes wore their alternate black uniforms. ... The Sabres conclude their brief two-game road trip Saturday at the New York Islanders. ... The Hurricanes were 0-for-7 on the power play and only have one power-play goal in their last 20 chances.

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