Final - OT
  for this game

Sabres pick up key OT win against Carolina

Apr 4, 2011 - 4:25 AM Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Marc-Andre Gragnani scored his first NHL goal with 2:04 remaining in overtime to lift the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in a battle between playoff hopefuls at RBC Center.

In the extra session, Nathan Gerbe worked the puck to the left point and Gragnani, playing in his 12th career NHL game, snapped a wrist shot that found its way behind Cam Ward after deflecting off the stick of a Carolina player.

Chris Butler supplied the other goal for Buffalo, which has won five of its last seven games. Jhonas Enroth turned away 35 shots for the Sabres, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, one point ahead of the New York Rangers and three in front of ninth-place Carolina.

Eric Staal lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, while Ward made 29 saves.

Carolina had gone 6-1-0 in its previous seven games.

"It's not the outcome we wanted. We have to keep pushing," Hurricanes forward Brandon Sutter said.

Butler opened the scoring midway through the first period with his first goal of the season. The defenseman joined the rush, skating down the right wing. Butler slowed up in the circle and took a Drew Stafford pass before firing a shot from the face-off dot high over the glove of Ward.

The Hurricanes drew even on a friendly carom 5:50 into the second period. Staal let go a shot that appeared to deflect off a Buffalo player and floated over Enroth. It was the 500th career point for the Carolina captain.

Game Notes

Staal became just the third player to notch 500 points with the franchise, joining Ron Francis (1,175) and Kevin Dineen (544)...Stafford picked up his 100th career assist...Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury.