Gerber makes career-high 41 saves in Carolina victory

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Erik Cole made NHL history and the Carolina

Hurricanes kept on winning.

Cole became the first player to be awarded two penalty shots in

one game, scoring on the first, and the Hurricanes got their

franchise-record eighth straight victory, 5-3 over the Buffalo

Sabres on Wednesday night.

He was awarded the first penalty shot while the Hurricanes were

short-handed in the third period after being hauled down from

behind by Buffalo forward Jochen Hecht. The goal gave Carolina a

4-1 lead.

Later in the third, Cole was hooked by Dmitri Kalinin and was

awarded another penalty shot, but was foiled by Martin Biron.

"I made the move I wanted, but not the shot I wanted," said

Cole, who became the first player in NHL history to take two

penalty shots in one game according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said the new rules may have had

something to do with the awarding of the penalty shots.

"I don't know if those could have been called a couple of years

ago," he said.

Martin Gerber tied his career-high with 41 saves as Carolina

eclipsed the seven-game winning streak set 20 years ago when the

team was located in Hartford.

"Actually, I'm not sure we're paying attention to that," said

Cole, who also had two assists for Carolina, which is off to its

best start in team history. "I'm just paying attention to doing

whatever it takes to help this team."

That includes taking a slap shot by Kalinin off the bottom of

his right knee late in the game, forcing the left wing to seek

treatment after the game.

With a large ice pack on his knee, Cole hobbled gingerly around

the locker room, but said he should be fine for the game in Florida

on Friday night.

Ray Whitney, Michael Zigomanis, Frantisek Kaberle and Justin

Williams also scored for the Hurricanes, who haven't lost in

regulation since Oct. 8, when they fell to the New York Islanders.

Since that defeat, the Hurricanes have won 10 of 11 games.

Cory Stillman contributed three assists, tying a career-high.

"When we come to the rink we're having fun, but we also expect

to win," Stillman said. "That's a great mentality to have."

Gerber, who was making his second consecutive start after

getting his fourth career shutout against Florida on Saturday,

thwarted the Sabres in the second period when they peppered him

with 22 shots. At one point midway through the period, Buffalo held

a 16-1 edge in shots.

"We knew they were going to throw everything they could at the

net," Gerber said. "They had a couple of big chances, but we

always had someone there to close the gap or block a shot."

Despite the record-setting win, Carolina coach Peter Laviolette

was disturbed with his team's defensive play, especially in the

second.

"That period was real ugly," he said. "We didn't do a good

job pressuring them or pressuring the puck."

Thomas Vanek scored twice, including his first career goal, and

Ales Kotalik added a goal for Buffalo, which lost its fourth

straight. After winning six of their first eight games, the Sabres

have lost six of seven, including four straight at home.

"It's really frustrating," Vanek said. "We got a lot of

shots, but we have to buckle down and work harder to get the

rebounds."

Kotalik opened the scoring nearly five minutes in on the power

play with his eighth goal of the season, and sixth with the

man-advantage.

Carolina tied it 10 minutes later on Whitney's fourth goal, and

took a 2-1 lead when Zigomanis recorded his first goal of the

season with 1:40 left in the first.

Zigomanis, Buffalo's third-round draft pick in 1999, took Eric

Staal's drop pass in the slot and wristed it past Biron.

The assist extended Staal's point streak to nine games. The

second overall pick in 2003 has 19 points during the span.

Vanek closed the gap to 4-2 with a power-play goal in the third,

and made it 4-3 with seven minutes remaining, deflecting Henrik

Tallinder's shot from the left point.

Williams capped the scoring with an empty-net goal.

Biron finished with 17 saves in his fourth straight start

replacing the injured Ryan Miller.

"He wasn't quite there," Ruff said of Biron. "We were working

hard, and every guy was pressing. ... I need Marty to press,

too."Game notes
Buffalo D Jay McKee missed his second straight game with a

bruised foot. ... The Sabres recalled D Jeff Jillson from their AHL

affiliate in Rochester. ... Carolina D Glen Wesley missed his first

game of the season with a groin injury. ... The Hurricanes'

previous best start after 14 games was in 1991-92 and 1996-97 when

they accumulated 16 points in each of those seasons. ... Carolina

is 9-0-1 when Stillman registers a point.