Sabres-Hurricanes Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes are allowing goals at an alarming rate,

contributing greatly to their current slump.

A matchup with the Buffalo Sabres could be what they need to get

back on track.

Carolina seeks its fourth win in five meetings with Buffalo when

the teams face off Friday night at the RBC Center.

The Hurricanes (6-10-3) have lost six of seven after falling 4-0

to Montreal on Wednesday. They’ve been outscored 30-14 during the

past seven games, allowing the most goals of any team in that

span.

”No question there’s concern,” said captain Eric Staal, who

has managed one goal and two assists over his last 10 games.

”Obviously, if we keep losing we’re not going to be in the mix for

the playoffs. So we’ve got to figure this out and get back to

winning some games because if you keep losing, you’re going to be

out of the picture before you know it and the season’s going to be

wasted.”

Cam Ward stopped 32 shots but dropped to 1-6-0 with a 4.79

goals-against average during Carolina’s slump.

”We’re clearly struggling and I think we’ve felt that tension

for a while,” coach Paul Maurice said.

Carolina picked up one of its few wins this season in Buffalo on

Oct. 14, when Ward made 39 saves and Jeff Skinner scored with less

than two minutes remaining for a 4-3 victory.

The Hurricanes have gone 3-0-1 in the last four meetings with

the Sabres, with Ward starting all four games and posting a 1.73

GAA. Carolina may be catching Buffalo at the right time again.

The Sabres are without star goaltender Ryan Miller, who suffered

a concussion Saturday. Backup Jhonas Enroth earned a 3-2 shootout

win over Montreal on Monday but lost in regulation for the first

time in 15 decisions Wednesday, 5-3 to New Jersey.

Enroth, 6-1-0 with a 2.19 GAA this season, allowed five goals on

19 shots before being pulled prior to the third period in favor of

Drew MacIntyre, who made his third NHL appearance.

”It wasn’t good enough,” said Enroth, who made 35 saves to

beat the Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime April 3 in his only start

against them. ”I’m very frustrated. A real bad game from my

side.”

Buffalo (11-7-0) fell behind by two goals for the third straight

game and couldn’t overcome the deficit despite a pair of goals from

defenseman Tyler Myers.

”We can’t keep getting down on teams like that,” Myers said.

”It’s going to be too hard to come back every single game.”

Derek Roy went without a point for only the second time in his

last seven games, during which he has five goals and five assists.

He has recorded six goals and three assists in a six-game point

streak versus the Hurricanes.

While Carolina has dominated the last four overall matchups,

Buffalo has gone 6-1-4 in its last 11 visits to Raleigh.

Staal has four goals and six assists in his last eight home

games against the Sabres.