Hurricanes thunder through Sabres 4-3 to even series
Ray Whitney has a reputation as a player who could find room to score in a tanning booth.
On Monday the Carolina Hurricanes combined team-wide intensity with Whitney’s skillful hands to pin a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres to tie the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals at 1-1. Whitney scored a pair of goals, one on the power play and one at even strength, to help end Buffalo’s five-game road winning streak.
The Stanley Cup playoffs have brought the Triangle a taste of major-league fan violence, as some Caniacs are finding out.
Raleigh police arrested four unruly fans Saturday at the RBC Center, and two at the arena Monday, on charges that include assault, fighting and damaging property. That’s half as many arrests as in a typical full regular season.
A Carolina Hurricanes fan was hospitalized after he, like his hockey team, came out on the losing end Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Raleigh surveyor Nathaniel King said he needed doctors twice after fighting with several belligerent Sabres fans.
The alcohol-fueled clash started between periods of the opening game of the Eastern Conference finals, in a smoking area outside Section 108, police said.
In Game One, the Buffalo Sabres broke serve.
In Game Two, the Carolina Hurricanes broke even. In a big way.
The Hurricanes dominated Monday night in RBC Center, scoring first and never trailing in a 4-3 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as the score would imply.
“I won’t consider that a narrow defeat by any means,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. His team scored one goal almost by accident and the other two in the third period while up two skaters.
This isn’t Philadelphia, a team they can skate circles around all night long. And this isn’t Ottawa, a free-wheeling club susceptible to being victimized in transition. The Carolina Hurricanes are qualified to neutralize what the Buffalo Sabres do best, capable of unnerving them, frustrating them and, it turns out, winning with authority.