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Vanek, Drury help Sabres sweep season series vs. Hurricanes

Dec 29, 2006 - 4:27 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- To become the champion, a club has to beat the champion.

Thomas Vanek and Chris Drury each scored their 20th goal of the season and Ryan Miller made 29 saves to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Sabres, who lost in seven games to the Hurricanes in the 2006 Eastern Conference finals, swept the four-game season series with the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second straight season. Buffalo also swept the four-game set with the 2004 champion Tampa Bay Lightning in 2005-06.

"Every time we play them, it's something we think about," Buffalo right wing Jason Pominville said. "We still have that in the back of our minds. This year is a different year, and hopefully we can make it to that next step."

"That was the best game we played against them," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "We really should have had a few (goals) in the first period, I think it would have been a different game. If we got out front, it would have been a much different story. We didn't and then they got three rebound goals, the kind of goals you can't let happen. A guy gets two or three whacks at it."

Buffalo started slowly, getting outshot, 10-1, in the first period. During the intermission, coach Lindy Ruff let his team know he was not pleased with its effort.

"I basically said that we didn't work, we didn't care about working, we cheated our fans, we cheated everybody," Ruff said. "I think we used that first 20 minutes to learn how to play again. It was like we expected Washington all over again. It was very disappointing."

With the Sabres already ahead, 1-0, Drury doubled the lead when he swept his own rebound past goaltender John Grahame at 2:52 of the second period. Vanek extended the advantage later in the session, also beating Grahame on a rebound with 3:42 to go.

Vanek, the fifth overall selection in the 2003 draft, scored 25 goals in 81 games last season.

"I don't think we generated any offense in the first, I think we got one shot on net," Pominville said. "They were playing hard and we weren't skating. We're at our best when we get our feet moving, get pucks deep. We were able to do that in the second. It was something we talked about between periods. We came out strong."

"The game was won for them in the first period by not getting behind," Brind'Amour said. "I think if we'd gotten ahead, it would have been a different game. We just weren't able to capitalize. Against a good team like that, you can't give them a second chance."

Drury has three goals and four assists in his last five games for Buffalo, which has outscored its opponents, 10-4, in its last two games. The co-captain had two tallies and two assists in the Sabres' 6-3 victory over the Capitals on Tuesday.

Ales Kotalik capped the scoring in the final minute, putting a backhander by Grahame on a penalty shot with 42 seconds remaining.

Pominville also tallied for Buffalo, which has won three of four.

Craig Adams netted the lone goal for the Hurricanes, who had their five-game winning streak snapped. Brind'Amour assisted on the tally, extending his points streak to four games.

"We would have liked to get the two points, but that fact that they swept us, I really don't care," Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore said. "I don't care if it's Buffalo, Toronto or whoever it was. I could care less if they swept us. They played us well. Good for them."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0 1 1
    BUFFALO 0 3 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 17 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 1:21
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 20 (PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:52
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 20 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, DEREK ROY) 16:18
    3RD PRD: CAR - (SH) CRAIG ADAMS 6 (CHAD LARO

    Dec 28 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    BUFFALO 4
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PS) ALES KOTALIK 11 19:18

    Hurricanes vs. SabresDec 28 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 1
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: CAR - (SH) CRAIG ADAMS 6 (UNASSISTED) 18:51

    Hurricanes vs. SabresDec 28 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0 0
    BUFFALO 0 3 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 17 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 1:21
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 20 (PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:52
    BUF - THOMAS VANEK 20 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, DEREK ROY) 16:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Dec 28 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    BUFFALO 3
    2ND PRD: BUF - THOMAS VANEK 20 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, DEREK ROY) 16:18

    Hurricanes vs. SabresDec 28 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    BUFFALO 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - CHRIS DRURY 20 (PAUL GAUSTAD) 2:52

    Hurricanes vs. SabresDec 28 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    CAROLINA 0
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 17 (JOCHEN HECHT, TEPPO NUMMINEN) 1:21

    Hurricanes vs. SabresDec 28 8:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAROLINA 0 0
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CAR 10 10
    BUF 1 1
    GOALIES: CAR - JOHN GRAHAME
    BUF - RYAN MILLER

    Dec 28 7:42 PM