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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Ryan Miller made 29 saves, and Ales Kotalik scored on a penalty shot to help the Buffalo Sabres beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Thursday night.

Jason Pominville, Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Sabres.

Buffalo swept the four-game season series against the Hurricanes, the team that beat the Sabres in the Eastern Conference finals last season en route to the Stanley Cup title.

Craig Adams spoiled Miller's shutout bid with a short-handed goal late in the third.

Carolina entered the game with a season-best, five-game winning streak.

The Hurricanes' John Grahame finished with 22 saves in his second start in three games, and first against the Sabres this season. Cam Ward had started the three previous games against Buffalo, posting a 4.25 goals-against average in the three losses.

Kotalik converted his penalty shot with under a minute to go after Adams scored to make it 3-1 with 1:09 left.

After a scoreless first period, Pominville scored his 17th of the season 1:21 into the second. Grahame stopped Teppo Numminen's slap shot, which was tipped by Daniel Briere, before Jochen Hecht slid the rebound to Pominville, who was standing at the top of the crease. Pominville shoveled the puck into an empty net.

Drury made it 2-0 just 91 seconds later with his 20th goal. Coming around from behind the net, Drury took three whacks at the puck before finally driving it past Grahame. Vanek pushed Buffalo's lead to 3-0 with his 20th, putting home Jaroslav Spacek's rebound.

Buffalo outscored the Hurricanes in the four games by a 19-11 margin.

Notes: The game was the first of a back-to-back set for the Hurricanes against the top two teams in the NHL. Carolina hosts Anaheim on Friday night. ... Drury has 20 or more goals in seven of his eight NHL seasons. ... Buffalo swept the season series against the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second straight season. The Sabres took all four games last season against the 2003-04 champ Tampa Bay Lightning. ... Vanek and Drury became the first Sabres players to score 20 goals before January since Dave Andreychuk, Pat LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny did it in 1992. ... Buffalo managed just one shot in the first period, a season low. ... Carolina forward Justin Williams had his career-long, eight-game point streak stopped.


carolinahurricanes.com
Next game home against ANAHIEM DUCKS

Carolina came up short for the fourth and final time this season against the red-hot Sabres
 
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