It wasn't a result of a lack of effort, but the Carolina Hurricanes let a win slip away against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, dropping a 3-2 decision.
The Hurricanes never led in the game, and only beat Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller with two, perfect shots. Carolina out-shot Buffalo 38-18, but Miller proved to be up to the task, as he has been all season for Buffalo.
"It's a tough pill to swallow right now for everybody," Huricanes captain Eric Staal said after the game. "We definitely had the better of the chances pretty much every period. But we gave up some good ones, and they capitalized. Miller was good. You want to bear down on some of the chances you got, but he got the better of us on some of those grade-A chances."
Staal scored a goal in tonight's loss to tie the game at one in the second period as a Buffalo power play was expiring. Alexander Semin also scored a goal late in the third period to tie the game at two, but Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff scored with less than a minute to go in the game, which proved to be deciding goal.
Cam Ward had a tough game back after missing time due to injury, as he allowed three goals on just 18 Buffalo shots. Yet, Staal doesn't fault him for the loss.
"I thought he battled hard," Staal said. "I mean, it's not easy when you get three shots, four shots a period. I think he had to fight to stay in the game at times and he did a good job of that. I thought he made a couple of real good, quality saves and you want to give him some run-support with some of the chances we had."
Carolina's loss tonight could prove costly once the playoff seeds are determined, but there are more games left on the schedule. The Hurricanes will continue their road trip on Thursday when they travel to Dallas to take on the Stars.
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