Christian Ehrhoff scored his second goal of the game with 43.4 seconds remaining to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in the first NHL action after the Olympic break on Tuesday.
Ehrhoff was rewarded for his effort on the game-winner after the defenseman skated into the Carolina zone and around the net before putting the puck in the crease, where it deflected off a Hurricanes player and into the net to give Buffalo the victory.
Ehrhoff also scored in the second period for Buffalo (16-34-8) and center Tyler Ennis netted in the third. Goaltender Ryan Miller made 36 saves in the win.
Right winger Alexander Semin and center Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes (26-23-9), whose goalie, Cam Ward, made 15 saves.
It was an unlikely win for the Sabres, who were outshot 31-10 through 45 minutes and 38-18 overall.
Semin tied the game 2-2 on a neat wrist-shot from the high slot with four minutes remaining, beating Miller on the goalie’s glove side.
Ennis had earlier made it 2-1 with 7:43 remaining with a sprawling effort.
After Ward stopped two Sabres shots, the puck came to a standstill centimeters from the goal line with Ennis diving in from the left side of the ice to push the puck into the net for his 14th goal of the season.
Staal had earlier tied the game at 1-1 on a low wrist-shot with 3:08 remaining in the second period. It was his 15th goal of the season.
Ehrhoff opened the scoring 5:54 into the second period with a blast from the point on the power play, his shot appearing to deflect off a player in front of the Carolina net and still having just enough pace to trickle over the goal line.
It was Ehrhoff’s fifth goal so far during this season.