RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Things can't get much worse for the Buffalo Sabres.
Jeff O'Neill and Craig Adams scored for Carolina, and Kevin
Weekes recorded his first shutout as the Hurricanes beat Buffalo
2-0, extending the Sabres' winless streak to seven Thursday night.
The Sabres ended a miserable six-game road trip 0-4-2, scoring
just six goals. Since winning 6-1 and 5-1 to open the season,
Buffalo has 15 goals in 11 games and gone 0-5-2 in its last seven.
On this night, the Sabres had two video replays on goals go
against them in the final 10:14 to fall even deeper into a hole in
the Eastern Conference.
"Right now it's a round peg in a square hole,'' Buffalo coach
Lindy Ruff said. "It's going to take one bounce. It's going to
take something good to happen. It doesn't need to be a pretty goal.
It's going to go off something and go in.
"I've never seen a drought like this. But you've got to believe
that with our work ethic, with the type of penalty kill we had,
with the type of effort we had tonight, that we're going to be
O'Neill's fifth of the season late in the first period was his
third game-winner in 14 games.
"It's good to get a goal when it counts,'' O'Neill said. "In a
game like this it seemed whoever scored first was going to win the
Carolina has earned at least one point in seven of its last
eight games to move into a first-place tie with Tampa Bay in the
Weekes wasn't tested much by one of the worst offenses in the
NHL, stopping 26 shots for his ninth career shutout.
Buffalo had plenty of chances in the second period trailing 1-0,
but managed two shots during a two-man advantage that lasted 1:35
and didn't come close to getting a shot on its final power play of
the period as the team's offensive frustration mounted.
And Vaclav Varada kicked in the puck with 10:14 left in the
third for a disallowed goal when he couldn't get his stick free in
Adams clinched it when a replay showed his goal crossed the line
before the net came off its pegs during a wild scramble with 2:14
"It was a pretty one,'' Adams said, joking about his second
career goal in 90 games. "When I saw it sitting in the crease I
pushed as hard as I could.''
Jan Hlavac made an impact in his first period in a Carolina
The left wing, who came to Carolina in a trade with Vancouver,
made a nice stick check on Curtis Brown halfway through the period
as the Buffalo player freed himself in the slot for a good scoring
chance on Weekes.
Hlavac then made two great individual moves to free up O'Neill
for the game's first goal.
The second move proved costly as Buffalo defense Alexei Zhitnik
went knee-to-knee with Hlavac, crumpling the Carolina newcomer to
the ice in pain as O'Neill's one-timer from 40 feet whistled into
"That was the old Canadien put-your-head-down and shoot it as
hard as you can,'' O'Neill said of his goal. "It seemed to work.''
Zhitnik was given a 5-minute kneeing penalty and a game
misconduct for the hit as the NHL's most penalized team was called
for 21 penalty minutes in the opening 20 minutes.
Hlavac and Erik Cole didn't return after the first with what the
team called thigh bruises, forcing coach Paul Maurice to juggle his
lines even further. He's already without center Josef Vasicek, who
missed his eighth game in a row with back pain.
Weekes improved to 5-1-2 in his last eight starts. ...
Miroslav Satan missed his second straight game for Buffalo with a
bruised hip. ... Buffalo has scored just seven first-period goals
in 13 games. ... The last time the Sabres had a seven-game winless
streak was an 0-5-2 mark at the beginning of the 1999-2000 season.
... Carolina's Ron Francis moved within nine assists of 1,200 for