|Confident Hurricanes take on slumping Sabres|
Feeling fired up after an eight-goal outburst Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes next face a Buffalo Sabres squad that could be feeling weary after an especially long road trip.
Both teams have made recent discoveries heading into Thursday night's game in Buffalo, N.Y.
Carolina is coming off an 8-2 romp past the Ottawa Senators in their highest-scoring game of the season, an outcome that reversed some frustration and snapped a four-game losing streak.
"Confidence is important in hockey," Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho said.
The sudden scoring surge came after Carolina endured a stretch when goals were infrequent, even when there were other positive elements of its performances.
"We haven't been scoring a lot of goals the last couple of games and it's good to get a good feeling," defenseman Dougie Hamilton said.
Meanwhile, the Sabres are back from Stockholm, Sweden, where they lost a pair of games to the Tampa Bay Lightning last week. But it wasn't all a lost cause for Buffalo.
"Games became lessons and make us stronger in the future," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "We are a team learning how to play with the top teams in the league."
Krueger said the Sabres have improved in 5-on-5 situations, something that they can build on.
"As we go on, we learn that details matter," Sabres forward Marcus Johansson said.
Buffalo has a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) entering its first home contest in nearly two weeks. Needless to say, there's a growing sense of urgency for the Sabres to turn things around.
"We have to play better, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin said. "The puck didn't bounce our way (in Sweden)."
The puck finally went Carolina's way earlier this week.
"It's nice to see the puck go in," coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It had been a couple of weeks of tough sledding."
The Hurricanes, who open a three-game road trip Thursday night, benefited from a three-point effort from defenseman Joel Edmundson, who arrived in an offseason trade from the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
Edmundson didn't have a point in his first 17 games with Carolina, then registered two assists and the final goal against Ottawa on Monday.
"He has worked really hard," Brind'Amour said. "He has been a great fit for our team."
Edmundson finally contributed on the scoresheet, and that could be a boost for the Hurricanes. He also liked the approach he saw from the team as it snapped its slump.
"We played a full 60 minutes," Edmundson said. "If we do that, most nights we'll get the result we want."
Brind'Amour has coached 100 games, compiling 56 victories. That's the most for a coach through 100 games in franchise history.
Three of those victories came last season against the Sabres. After Thursday, the teams won't meet again until facing off in consecutive games in mid-March.
--Field Level Media