BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Stefan Noesen had a goal and an assist to help lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.
Sebastian Aho, Brent Burns, Derek Stepan and Jordan Martinook also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won seven games in a row. Antti Raanta made 29 saves.
Alex Tuch scored the lone goal for Buffalo. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 29 saves.
The Hurricanes completely dominated the Sabres out of the gates, taking control of the game and jumping out to an early 3-0 lead.
Aho opened the scoring on the power play 2:35 into the game, finishing a pass through the crease from Teuvo Teravainen for a tap-in. Aho extended his hot streak and has goals in six consecutive games.
Noesen had a tap-in of his own midway through the first period on a feed from Martin Necas.
Burns made it 3-0 with 7:13 left in the first, shooting at an open net following a terrific setup by Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
Tuch got the Sabres on the board with 5:15 left in the first on a wrist shot from the right circle. It was his 24th goal of the season.
Things went from bad to worse late in the second period for Buffalo. Sabres leading scorer Tage Thompson left the game with an upper-body injury and did not return. Thompson had been trying to play through injury in recent days and missed practice on Monday. Thompson has 34 goals and 68 points in 50 games. The injury puts his status for this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game in jeopardy.
Buffalo outshot Carolina 8-1 to open the third period but was unable to get on the board before Stepan made it 4-1. Stepan picked up his fifth goal of the season with a deke around Luukkonen at the top of the crease.
Martinook added an empty-net goal with 1:41 remaining.
Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played in his 900th career game. He’s the 63rd active NHL player to play in 900 or more games. Skinner originally entered the league with Carolina after being chosen seventh overall by the Hurricanes in 2010.
Hurricanes: After the All-Star break, travel home to play the New York Rangers on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Sabres: After the All-Star break, host the Calgary Flames on Saturday, Feb. 11, before heading across the country on a three-game road trip.