Sabres, 'Canes meet after quick turnarounds (Dec 17, 2016)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres will meet three times in less than a month starting Saturday night at PNC Arena, with each team coming off different outcomes in games that were pushed past regulation 24 hours ago.
The Sabres continued their good play recently with an overtime victory Friday night at home against the New York Islanders, while the Hurricanes saw their seven-game home winning streak end in a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington.
Buffalo won the season series against the Hurricanes 3-0 last year and is 6-3-2 in its last 11 games.
In general, the Hurricanes have had difficulties holding third-period leads, and that was the case again against the Capitals with Carolina allowing the tying goal with 6:04 left in regulation.
"We'll be back in there again," coach Bill Peters said of the matchup against Buffalo. "This loss (to Washington) wasn't for a lack of chances. We were pushing, we were aggressive, we stayed on our toes."
Washington had just seven shots midway through the game, but then started to play more physical against a Carolina team that likes to skate and play fast.
"We want to compete and make them pay on the scoreboard when teams get physical with us," Peters said. "When it's physical let's dig in. It's Christmas time so it's better to give them receive."
Peters admitted that a few players were "dinged up" after the Washington game but he'll likely go with the same lineup as he did Friday night,' including goalie Cam Ward, who will be making his 19th start in the last 21 games.
"The nice part is we come back and do it again," Jeff Skinner said of the back-to-back scenario. "We sometimes have gotten away from our game trying to protect the lead. We have to stay on the forecheck and keep doing good things."
"There are ways of making it easier on ourselves and finding ways to win games," added Jordan Staal.
The Sabres, despite a slow start to the season, have the attention of Staal and his teammates.
"They are playing well and there is never an easy game in this league. We're going to need these points to keep moving forward," he said.
Buffalo has been one of them more injury-riddled teams in the league but is now starting to get healthy.
"If you asked me at the 22-game mark I don't think we had gotten our identity of our team and how we wanted to play because of injuries to key guys, but we've played some good hockey and had some good games," said Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma. "But here recently we've started to get some players back and you're seeing how our ream can play. Look at some of the games we've taken over. That's really kind of getting to how we're going to play moving forward."