By BILL HOPPE, Associated Press Writer
January 4, 2003
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Sabres finally put together the third period they needed to win.
Tied going into the third period for the third straight game, the Sabres scored three goals on 20 shots to beat Carolina 6-3 Friday night and snap a franchise-worst seven-game losing streak.
``The third period looked so good because the first two weren't so good,'' coach Lindy Ruff said. ``We were really sloppy in our own end, we had a lot of turnovers. In the third period, we fed off the couple goals we had and just kept going.''
Earlier this week, the Sabres were tied with the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders entering the third period before losing. This time, the Sabres poured it on.
Stu Barnes scored 7:20 into the third, and J.P. Dumont and Miroslav Satan added goals to help the Sabres win for the first time since topping Boston 4-2 on Dec. 18.
``During this tough stretch maybe we've maybe been getting ahead of ourselves a little bit and focusing on the game instead of the individual period,'' forward Curtis Brown said. ``Tonight, we grew as the game went on and we had a real good third period.''
Rod Brind'Amour, Bates Battaglia and Jeff O'Neill scored for Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost four straight.
Carolina coach Paul Maurice thought he had the Sabres right where he wanted.
``We outshot them 24-14 going into the third,'' Maurice said. ``We were right where we needed to be going into the third. We played a bad third period.''
``We should have been the ones that came out with a little more fire,'' he said. ``They played like they had nothing to lose, and that's what we should have done.''
Dumont, paired with Barnes and Ales Kotalik for the first time, finished with two goals and an assist. Barnes added a goal and an assist and Kotalik had two assists.
``We're not big guys, but with our speed we're strong enough to make things happen,'' Dumont said. ``Of course we're not going to kill anybody with a bodycheck, but we're going to finish our checks and win some battles.''
Satan had two goals to raise his team-leading total to 15.
Dumont scored Buffalo's earliest goal of the season -- just 1:11 in -- when his shot from the side of the net deflected in off Carolina defenseman Tomas Malec.
Brind'Amour tied it at 8:52 to snap Carolina's goal drought at 171 minutes, 51 seconds. O'Neill had scored Carolina's last goal 16:01 into the first period on Dec. 27 against Atlanta.
Battaglia gave Carolina the lead 4:42 into the second, but Brown scored a short-handed goal -- the Sabres second of the season -- at 7:10 to tie it.
Satan gave the Sabres a 3-2 lead at 11:38, but O'Neill tied it just 1:04 later to make it 3-3.
Kevin Weekes, appearing in his 25th game, stopped 28 shots and has given up five goals twice in his last two starts.
Ryan Miller, making his fourth NHL start, made 25 saves.
Carolina was 0-for-3 on the power play, and had failed to score in its last 21 chances. ... Brind'Amour had just four points in his previous 14 games. ... Buffalo defenseman Rhett Warrener missed his seventh straight game because of a groin injury. ... Sabres forward Eric Boulton, second in the league with 122 penalty minutes, wore a visor in his first game since cracking an orbitalbone on the left side of his face.
Updated on Saturday, Jan 4, 2003 3:00 am, EST
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