Buffalo once again took the first game of a playoff series, a good omen for those that follow the Sabres through the NHL wars. In a fast paced game, which featured a lot of end to end rushes and both Cam Ward and Ryan Miller got a full workout for their first ever Eastern final game.
Henrik Tallender scored early in the first to send the Sabres on their way to a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes, though the result wasn’t a done deal until that horn sounded to end the game.
The Sabres led 3-1 at one point before the Hurricanes added a second goal to make things interesting at the RBC centre as the clock ticked down to bring game one to an end.
Besides Tallender, Daniel Briere and Jay McKee scored for the Sabres, while Rod Brind’amour and Mike Commodore picked up the Hurricanes markers. The Cane’s had more than enough chances to take control of the game in the first period but the puck just would not bounce their way in the Saturday afternoon contest. The Sabres regained control of the game in the second, but found themselves under siege in the first half of the third as the Hurricanes outshot them 11-1, leaving Ryan Miller to step up and shut down the Carolina attack.
The two teams traded goals in the third, but that still left the Canes one short by games end and the Sabres with a one game to none lead in the Conference final. The win is a continuation of the Sabres kind of luck this playoff season, they face down their opposition weather more than a few storms and still come up with a win at the end of the day.
It makes game two a suddenly pivotal game for the Hurricanes who only have to look at recent playoff contenders Philadelphia and Ottawa for examples of what happens when the Sabres get on a roll. If they wish to keep in the hunt for Stanley, a win for Carolina is a must on Monday night. Going down two games to these Sabres is a hole you don’t want to dig for yourself if you can at all help it!