Preview: Sabres at Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes were closing in on their sixth consecutive victory last time out before letting it slip away. Carolina attempts to bounce back when it hosts the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
The Hurricanes carried a lead into the third period at Tampa Bay on Thursday before allowing a pair of power-play goals in the latter half of the session and went on to drop a 3-1 decision. Captain Justin Williams extended his goal-scoring streak to three games and point run to five contests (four goals, one assist) by registering his 300th career goal in the setback. Buffalo has won two of its last three games after erupting for five goals in the second period on Tuesday en route to a 5-1 home triumph over New Jersey. Former Hurricane Jeff Skinner netted his team-leading 29th tally in the win for the Sabres, who have lost three straight and seven of their last eight on the road (1-5-2).
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network, MSG (Buffalo), FS Carolinas
ABOUT THE SABRES (23-14-6): Tuesday was a night to remember for a pair of Sabres as C.J. Smith and defenseman Lawrence Pilut each scored their first goal in the NHL. An undrafted left wing who signed with the team in March 2017, the 24-year-old Smith was playing in his sixth career game while Pilut - a 23-year-old Swede who also went undrafted - was skating in his 12th contest in the league. Fourteen different players registered a point against the Devils, tying the franchise record set on Nov. 2, 2006 against Tampa Bay and matched on Oct. 21, 2009 versus Florida.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (20-18-5): Carolina could be in for a strong performance from Greg McKegg on Friday if his trend continues. The 26-year-old center, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on Feb. 26, has alternated one-goal, one-assist performances with pointless efforts over his first four games of the season. Sebastian Aho, who leads the team with 45 points, has gone two contests without one after notching two in each of his previous three games.
1. Skinner is one goal away from reaching 30 for the fourth time in his nine seasons in the NHL.
2. Carolina D Jaccob Slavin was kept off the scoresheet Thursday after recording his 100th career point with a goal against the New York Islanders two nights earlier.
3. Buffalo's second period on Tuesday was its highest-scoring session since it tallied five times in the third of a 5-1 victory over Carolina on Nov. 28, 2009.
PREDICTION: Sabres 4, Hurricanes 1