Jamie McBain, Hurricanes Hold Off Sabres To Keep Playoff Spot In Hand

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Sabres Vs Hurricanes Score: Jamie McBain Scores Overtime Winner

In a game that was desperately needed for both teams, at least both teams earned a point with it going to overtime. Jamie McBain scored the overtime winner 26 seconds into overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 victory. His goal was assisted by Joni Pitkanen and Eric Staal. 

The Buffalo Sabres got the scoring started at the four minute mark in the second period. Steve Montador scored his fifth goal of the season with assists by Tyler Ennis and Andrej Sekera. The Hurricanes scored two minutes later with a goal from Jiri Tlustly. The Sabres got their second lead of the night at the ten minute mark of the second period with new trade acquisition Brad Boyes. Boyes scores his second goal in as many nights for the Sabres with assists from Steve Montador and Andrej Sekera. The Hurricanes tied the game up quickly again with a goal from Chad LaRose. 

The Hurricanes were outshot in the game 29-24, but they had the lone shot in overtime to give themselves the win. Carolina's Cam Ward gets the win with 27 saves while Buffalo's Ryan Miller takes the loss with 21 saves. 

With the loss by the New York Rangers, they leapfrog the Rangers into the 7th position in the Eastern Conference while the Buffalo Sabres stay in 9th, two points behind the Rangers and three points behind the Hurricanes. 

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Sabres Vs. Hurricanes Score: Teams Trading Goals Leads To 2-2 Tie After Second Period

After skating to a scoreless first period, the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes traded goals in the second period to lead to a 2-2 second period tie. Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Steve Montador got the scoring started with his fifth goal of the season to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead at the 4:35 mark of the second period. His goal was assisted by Tyler Ennis and Andrej Sekera. The Hurricanes tied the game at one shortly after that with a Jiri Tlustly goal roughly two minutes later. 

The Sabres found a 2-1 lead at 10:12 in the second period with trade deadline acquisition Brad Boyes' second goal in as many games with his new team. The Hurricanes did what they did after the Sabres scored their first goal, they tied the game within two minutes with a Chad LaRose goal which was assisted by Jeff Skinner. 

The Sabres are still outshooting the Hurricanes through two periods, 18-15, even though the Hurricanes outshot the Sabres 8-7 in the second period. Buffalo's Ryan Miller has 13 saves through two periods while Carolina's Cam Ward has 16 during the same timeframe.

With possibly one more period left, these two teams are going to battle it out until the end.  

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Sabres Vs. Hurricanes Score: Playoff-like Matchup Lends To Scoreless First Period

While the Sabres and Hurricanes are battling for a playoff position, neither team could find the back of the net in the first period. The Sabres are outshooting the Hurricanes 11-7 in the first period and Buffalo's Thomas Vanek had the best opportunity of the period when he rolled the puck across an empty goal line after beating Carolina goaltender Cam Ward. 

The physicality of this game is much like a playoff game, with both teams finding their spots to throw their bodies around. The Hurricanes are outhitting the Sabres 11-7, while the Sabres' Mike Grier leads all players with four hits. Both goaltenders are playing well in this game, with Buffalo's Ryan Miller and Carolina's Cam Ward each pitching their own shutouts. 

This game is only going to get more intense as the time ticks down and with the way that both goaltenders are playing, it probably won't take many goals to get the win. 

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Sabres Vs. Hurricanes: Battle For Last Spot In Eastern Conference Playoff Race

The Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes are facing off for the first of three games on Thursday night. The Sabres are two points behind the Hurricanes for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with two games in hand. In the only other matchup of the season, the Sabres defeated the Hurricanes in Buffalo on January 13th, 3-2. 

Thomas Vanek was injured against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night but is expected to be in the lineup for the Sabres against the Hurricanes. Here is what he had to say to the media about the injury:

"There's no time to sit out," he said in RBC Center.

The left winger is walking with a limp after taking a clearing attempt by the New York Rangers off his ankle Tuesday night.

"It's a little bit sore on the ankle, just like I expected. Just took the day off today and get ready for tomorrow," Vanek said. "Like I said, we'll tape it up and just go."

There is a little bit more to this matchup than just a playoff-relevant matchup between two teams. Its also a major rivalry between two fanbases that severely dislike each other. These two teams met in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals and the hatred brewed from there. From our Hurricanes site, Canes Country:

It's always special when these two teams get together in Raleigh. Ever since the 2006 playoffs, when the Hurricanes prevailed in a tough seven game series for the Eastern Conference Championship, there has been bad blood between, if not the teams, then certainly the fanbases.

In some cases, friends and neighbors are cheering for opposite sides as many transplant Buffalo-nians take off their Carolina jerseys when the Sabres come to town.

Game time is 7:00 pm ET and for more information on this game, please visit our Sabres site, Die By The Blade, and our Hurricanes site, Canes Country.

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