Car 0 0 3 3
Buf 0 0 1 1
Date of game: 1/25/2013

Recap: Buffalo vs. Carolina

Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Jay Harrison scored the deciding goal with 4:50 remaining in the third period as the Carolina Panthers completed a home-and- home sweep of the Buffalo Sabres with a 3-1 decision at First Niagara Center.

Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner also tallied in the final session for the Hurricanes, while Dan Ellis stopped 40 shots in a sharp first start of the season to help Carolina build off Thursday's 6-3 win over the Sabres.

"The last two games we've really come into our own in terms of playing our system, and I think adding that element of grit to our game has really helped us," said Ellis. "It showed tonight."

Ryan Miller made 39 saves for Buffalo, which began the 2012-13 campaign with victories over Philadelphia and Toronto before last night's defeat in Raleigh. Thomas Vanek recorded the Sabres' lone goal of the evening.

With the contest tied at 1-1, Carolina's Eric Staal won a faceoff and worked the puck back to Harrison, whose shot from the right point got past a screened Miller to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the night.

Ellis would make it stand with five saves over the last four minutes, including a tough re-direction attempt from Jason Pominville down the stretch.

Vanek was called for a cross-check just seconds afterward, and the penalty all but sealed the Sabres' fate. Buffalo head coach Lindy Ruff pulled Miller with his team shorthanded, and Skinner sealed the win by taking a pass from Tim Gleason and rushing up the left side for an empty-net score with 26 seconds on the clock.

"You want to win these [close] games, or at least send them to overtime," said Miller afterward. "I needed to make one more save."

After a scoreless first two periods in which both Miller and Ellis were on their games, the Sabres capitalized on a power play early in the third to finally break the stalemate.

With Carolina's Jordan Staal in the box for a tripping call, Vanek corralled a puck that was sent into the boards from Pominville, fended off a check from Joni Pitkanen and fired a wrister from the left circle by Ellis 1:56 into the final stanza.

The Hurricanes responded quickly, however, when Semin skated into the center and rocketed a shot over Miller's left shoulder at the 3:31 mark of the period for the offseason pickup's first goal in a Carolina uniform.

Miller turned aside 14 shots in the first period, while Ellis made 18 saves in the second to match his counterpart and keep the game scoreless.

Carolina had the best scoring opportunity of the opening frame after Vanek was assessed a unsportsmanlike conduct double minor with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining. However, the advantage was quickly negated when Skinner was whistled for a high stick just 29 seconds afterward.

Game Notes

Skinner netted two goals in Thursday's win and now has four over Carolina's first four outings of the season ... After going just 1-for-15 on the power play through the opening three games, the Hurricanes struck twice in five chances with the man advantage ... Vanek has posted nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in Buffalo's first four tests and has been on the ice for all 10 of the team's goals this season ... Carolina was outshot for the first time in 11 periods after the Sabres finished the second with an 18-10 edge.

Smith replaces Larson for Martinsville race

Regan Smith substituted for Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after Larson was sidelined due to additional medical tests following his fainting spell on Saturday.

Extra Points: Snyder and the Beltway radio wars

If contradiction was an Olympic sport, Chip Kelly would certainly be medal-worthy judging by his performance at the NFL's owners meeting but the Eagles coach might have to settle for silver because Daniel Snyder's critics will take the gold every time.

2015 PREVIEW NL EAST: It's the Nationals and everybody else

There isn't much after that. The Miami Marlins are loaded up for a playoff push -- likely through a wild card spot -- and the New York Mets are up-and- coming but still raw. The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, former powerhouses of the division, are going through rebuilds and won't contend anytime soon.

Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.