When Johan Larsson scored Thursday night, the Buffalo Sabres center seemed to alleviate the frustration that has consumed the city's hockey fans in recent weeks.
The Sabres had lost both games during their trip to Sweden for the NHL Global Series and six of their last seven dating back to Oct. 24. Larsson tied the score with 40.4 seconds remaining in regulation against a formidable opponent in KeyBank Center.
However, the Sabres lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-4, in overtime when Dougie Hamilton scored a one-timer with 2:32 remaining. Buffalo (9-6-3) roared back from a two-goal deficit to tie the score, only to watch Andrei Svechnikov score a power-play goal with 3:54 remaining in the third period. Larsson then deflected Jeff Skinner's shot to send the game into overtime.
The Sabres are 1-5-2 in their last eight games and have lost 10 consecutive games to Carolina. Skinner, Curtis Lazar and Henri Jokiharju also scored for the Sabres. The Hurricanes (11-7-1), meanwhile, also received goals from Jordan Staal, Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen.
Revenge tour: Skinner has terrorized his former team since being traded to Buffalo in August 2018. The 27-year-old winger scored his fifth goal in four games against the Hurricanes to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 4:26 into the game.
Conor Sheary corralled the puck in the left-wing corner and sent a backhanded cross-ice pass to Skinner, who had enough time to beat Petr Mrazek with a wrist shot. The goal was Skinner's second in eight games.
Tough luck: The Sabres blocked Staal's consecutive shot attempts, only to watch as the second soared into the air and over Carter Hutton's shoulder to tie the score, 1-1, with 7:53 left in the first period. Hutton stopped eight of the 10 shots he faced in the first 20 minutes.
Special teams: Following consecutive failed power plays, the Sabres' struggles on the penalty kill continued. Aho deflected Teravainen's shot at 17:17 into the first period for a 2-1 Carolina lead. The Sabres were 4-for-7 on the penalty kill in their previous two games and have a negative-9 goal differential in the first period this season.
Slow start: The Hurricanes pushed their lead to 3-1 when Teravainen scored his fifth goal of the season 49 seconds into the second period. Teravainen managed to tip Aho's shot from the doorstep on a scoring chance that began with Jaccob Slavin's shot from the point.
Welcome back: Sabres forward Curtis Lazar, who was recalled from Rochester prior to practice Wednesday, blocked Haydn Fleury's shot near the blue line and scored on the ensuing breakaway to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 4:56 left in the second period. It was Lazar's first NHL goal since Feb. 15, 2018. He spent most of last season with the American Hockey League's Stockton Flames.
Close call: Skinner nearly tied the score with just over a minute remaining in the period when he misfired a shot on the open net. Mrazek was sitting idle on the ice because he took a shot to the neck moments earlier. The Sabres outshot the Hurricanes, 10-7, in the second period.
Tying goal: Jokiharju's second goal with the Sabres tied the score with 6:25 remaining in regulation when Brett Pesce committed a turnover near the Hurricanes' goal. Jokiharju retrieved the puck in the slot and beat Mrazek with a wrist shot.
Momentum swing: Carolina took a 4-3 lead on when Svechnikov scored with a wrist shot from the left-wing circle when Sam Reinhart was in the penalty box. Reinhart was assessed a game misconduct following the goal.
Skinner again: Skinner's shot from the right-wing circle through traffic and was deflected by Larsson to tie the score.
Lineup: Forward Marcus Johansson (upper body) is expected to miss the Sabres' three games this week, and forward Vladimir Sobotka (lower body) is out four to six weeks because of an injury suffered last Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Stockholm.
Defensemen Colin Miller and John Gilmour were healthy scratches Thursday night against Carolina.
Next: The Sabres are scheduled to practice Friday in preparation for their game Saturday against the Ottawa Senators inside KeyBank Center.