The Sabres improved to a record 10-0 on the road, getting a go-ahead goal from Adam Mair in the third period to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-4 Monday night. Buffalo extended its NHL mark for most consecutive road wins at the start of a season. “We pride ourselves in playing well on the road,” Mair said. “In this league the road is a tough place to play and a tough place to win. If you can pick up points on the road, it makes things a lot easier.”
Mair’s first goal of the season put Buffalo ahead 7:09 into the final period.
“When it was tied 3-3, it was good to score,” Mair said. “That was a big lift for our team. I think we settled into the third period after that.”
The Sabres added third-period goals by Derek Roy, Paul Gaustad and Jochen Hecht to hold off the Hurricanes.
After losing to the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference finals last season, Buffalo has beaten Carolina all three times they’ve played this season.
Rod Brind’Amour tied it at 3 for Carolina at 6:23 in the third period, but Buffalo took control on goals by Mair, Roy and Gaustad in a six-minute stretch.
Brind’Amour said it was frustrating to let the game slip away like it did.
“We came back and got to our game and really started playing well,” he said. “Then we tied it up and gave them two goals. You can’t do that against good teams. You have to make them earn it.”
The Sabres took advantage of three early Carolina penalties to grab the early lead. Thomas Vanek scored at 8:57 of the first period, Jason Pominville scored at 12:02 and Hecht made it 3-0 with 21 seconds left in the period with his first goal of the game.
“It was an awful first period,” Carolina defenceman Mike Commodore said. “We got down 3-0. It’s tough to come back against any team, especially to a team that’s only lost one or two games all year.”
Carolina had given up only 11 first-period goals in its first 18 games.
Justin Williams started Carolina’s comeback, scoring his seventh goal of the season with 8:45 left in the second period. Williams’ goal was reviewed because he crashed into goaltender Martin Biron, who started his fourth straight in place of the injured Ryan Miller.
“They’re a team that likes to throw everything at the net,” Biron said. “They did that for a while – everything from the corners to the point. They were throwing everything at the net hoping to get a bounce. They got momentum off that. They got a lucky bounce for the first goal.”
Biron, now 6-0 this season, stopped 31 of 35 shots.
After Brind’Amour’s goal, Buffalo clamped down in the final 12 minutes of the game. The goals from Roy and Gaustad came on the power play for Buffalo. Carolina had given up only three power-play goals at home all season before giving up three to the Sabres.
“We let one slip away,” Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said.
Notes: Buffalo D Teppo Numminen played his 1,252nd game, the most by a European-trained player, surpassing Jari Kurri. … Vanek and Pominville remained tied for the team lead with 11 goals each. … Carolina D Bret Hedican had two assists. … Carolina’s Ray Whitney scored his seventh goal of the season and extended his point streak to five straight games.