Jan 22, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jiri Tlusty (19) celebrates his goal with defenseman Justin Faulk (27) and center Eric Staal (12) against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Hurricanes defeated the Flyers, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Canes Best Sabres 5-3

The Buffalo Sabres failed to maintain a lead, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes by a final of 5-3 at First Niagara Center Thursday night. Former Buffalo Sabre, Andrej Sekera, got the game winner for Carolina to make it 4-3.

The Sabres (13-29-7) led three times in the contest, but each time Carolina (22-19-9) came back to tie the game and eventually took the lead to win.

“We’re finding ways to lose hockey games versus finding ways to win hockey games,” Head Coach Ted Nolan said to the media.

In his first ever NHL game, Philip Varone tallied an assist for Buffalo.

“I liked him (Varone),” Nolan stated, “I thought he played well and made some good plays out there.”

For their second game in a row, the Sabres got on the board first. At 10:15 into the game, Cody Hodgson received a pass from Steve Ott that cleared Carolina’s defensemen and allowed Hodgson an open shot on Anton Khudobin, beating him glove side.

Carolina came back to tie the game shortly after. Alexander Sulzer made a costly turnover that allowed Jeff Skinner to put a backhand shot past Jhonas Enroth at 12:28 into the first.

Buffalo regained the lead early on in the second period. At 3:20, Brian Flynn tapped in a rebound with assists coming from Marcus Foligno and Philip Varone.

The Hurricanes would answer again to bring it back to even. On a delayed penalty call in the second, Alexander Semin streaked down the right side to beat Enroth with a powerful wrist shot to tie the game back up at 13:11.

Tyler Ennis scored early in the third period to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead. Just 0:48 seconds in, Ennis picked up a long rebound at the point and ripped it past Khudobin.

Alexander Semin had the hot hand with two goals in the game. At 7:25, Semin was breaking to the net when he received a pass from Eric Staal that allowed him to put it past Enroth.

Former Buffalo Sabre, Andrej Sekera, would net the game winner for Carolina. At 9:50, Sekera ripped a shot from the point that found its way past Enroth, making it 4-3.

Jiri Tlusty got the empty net goal with less than a second left in the game.

The Sabres travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets this Saturday.

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