Quick Hits: Hurricanes 5, Sabres 2 - The Buffalo News
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Quick Hits: Hurricanes 5, Sabres 2

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jeff Skinner and Brock McGinn scored two goals apiece as the Carolina Hurricanes exploded for all of their offense in the final 40 minutes to drub the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2, Friday night in PNC Arena.

The loss was the Sabres' second in two nights on their brief road trip and left them 0-2-1 against the Hurricanes this season. Carolina improved to 13-1-1 in its last 15 home games and is 14-4-1 here for the season.

Quick jump: The Sabres scored first for the third straight game as William Carrier had an easy tap-in at 4:24 of the first period for his third goal of the season. It came after Ryan O'Reilly stripped Jacob Slavin to the left of the net.

First-goal blues: Until this trip, the Sabres had lost in regulation just twice in 19 games this year when scoring first. Then it happened twice in two nights, dropping Buffalo to 11-4-6 when taking the 1-0 lead.

Double trouble: Skinner got Carolina even at 1:48 of the second period with a quick snapshot from the left circle that blew through Anders Nilsson's glove. He made it 2-1 at 2:43 by beating Nilsson from the right circle on a shot just inside the post. The Canes took advantage of a slow line change, as Justin Faulk's long stretch pass found Skinner at the Buffalo blue line ahead of Zach Bogosian and Matt Moulson.

Speed demons: The Canes' speed continually gave the Sabres trouble in the first half of the second period, with McGinn's goal at 6:51 making it 3-1 and adding to the evidence. Elias Lindholm beat Rasmus Ristolainen along the wall and the puck got to the front of the net, where McGinn backhanded it home.

Creeping closer: Brian Gionta got a gift-shorthanded goal at 11:49 of the second, stealing a lazy clear from Canes goalie Cam Ward and coming out from behind the net to stuff the puck home. It was the first short-handed goal -- for or against -- the Sabres have been involved with this season.

Pulling away: The Canes pushed the lead to 4-2 as Victor Rask put home a rebound off the backboards at 4:15 of the third period. McGinn's second came at 7:58 after Jordan Staal eluded Cody Franson while Zach Bogosian and Sam Reinhart dropped coverage in front.

Dominating in the circle: The Canes were a stunning 16-1 on faceoffs in the first period, with Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons both going 0-4 and Ryan O'Reilly 1-7. The final count was 30-21 in favor of Carolina.

Up the leader board: Skinner's first goal was his 300th NHL point and his second goal gave him 17 this season and 160 for the Canes, fifth all-time since the franchise relocated from Hartford in 1997.

Up next: The Sabres will take Saturday off and return to practice on Sunday to get ready for another ultra-busy week. They host Dallas in a Martin Luther King Day matinee Monday at 1, play Tuesday night at Toronto, host Detroit Friday night and travel to Montreal for a Jan. 21 game as part of a back-to-back.

email: mharrington@buffnews.com

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