January 12, 2019 / 3:44 AM / in 11 days

Hurricanes get back on track by edging Sabres

EditorsNote: 1st graf, add Hurricanes before standout; 8th graf, delete the word ‘for’; reworded 13th graf

Sebastian Aho scored twice as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the visiting Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Friday night at Raleigh, N.C., ruining the return to PNC Arena of former Hurricanes standout Jeff Skinner.

Micheal Ferland and Justin Williams also scored for Carolina. Ferland and Teuvo Teravainen provided two assists each.

Aho, the team’s lone All-Star selection, pushed his team-best goals total to 18.

The Hurricanes were back on the winning track a night after a five-game winning streak was stopped when they surrendered a third-period lead at Tampa Bay. They were sharp at times in their first home game following a three-game road trip.

Jeff Skinner, Jason Pominville and Kyle Okposo scored for the Sabres, who had a three-game winning streak snapped as the teams met for the first time this season.

Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves.

Buffalo goalie Carter Hutton stopped 26 shots, enduring some bad luck along the way.

Okposo’s goal came with 3:12 to play, creating a potentially dramatic finish. It was the only third-period goal.

Skinner, a left winger, is in his first season with the Sabres after playing his first eight NHL seasons with the Hurricanes before a trade last summer. He was the focus of a first-period video tribute.

Ferland opened the scoring with a quirky goal that bounced off Hutton and onto the top of the net before trickling behind Hutton and into the net.

Skinner scored his 30th goal of the season in the final minute of the first period on a power play. Earlier in the day, Skinner was added to the NHL All-Star roster. He reached the 30-goal mark in a season three times with Carolina, while he had a total of 24 goals in 2017-18.

Williams posted his fifth goal in the last six games to open the second-period scoring.

Pominville responded with a goal 30 seconds later.

Aho’s goal to put Carolina ahead 3-2 was the third goal in a 72-second span. The puck bounced off Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and into the net.

Aho made it 4-2 with 7:33 to play in the second period.

The Sabres had center Jack Eichel in the lineup for the first time this month as he returned from an injury.

—Field Level Media

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