RALEIGH, N.C. - Even as Buffalo goalie Michal Neuvirth made save after save Thursday night, the Carolina Hurricanes did not get frustrated. "We were creating a lot of opportunities," Carolinas Eric Staal said. "We knew that wed eventually break him." When it finally happened, the break came fast, with Alexander Semin and Jiri Tlusty scoring in a 1:55 span in the third period to give the Hurricanes the lead in a 4-2 victory over the Sabres. Semin tied it at 2 on a power play with 8:12 left, and Tlusty scored the game-winner with 6:17 to go. Carolina put up a season-high 55 shots against Neuvirth. "The guys did a good job of not getting frustrated," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "We talked after the second period and said, Lets take a breather, get our rest and lets focus — and lets play the same way." Jeff Skinner had a first-period goal — his 26th — to help Carolina win its second in a row after losing seven of eight. Nathan Gerbe added an empty-net goal with a second left. Cam Ward made 21 saves, making his second consecutive start after backstopping the Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Tyler Ennis scored on a penalty shot and Drew Stafford added a goal for Buffalo. Neuvirths season-high 51 saves came in his second start for the Sabres since being acquired in a trade with Washington on March 5. "I thought he was good again," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said. "The one thing our goalies are going to end up doing in the remaining 16 games we have — theyre going to get a lot of good looks and play for that position." Tlustys winner came after he took a pass from Semin, walked into the slot and beat Neuvirth with a wrist shot above the glove. Stafford scored with 11:17 left to give Buffalo a short-lived 2-1 lead. The Sabres Cory Conacher attempted a wraparound on the play, but the puck bounced off the skates of Tlusty and Carolina defenceman Andrej Sekera in the crease before coming to Stafford at the side of the net. Stafford snapped it past Ward for his third goal in three games. He has nine goals in his last 15 contests. Carolina tied it when Semins slap shot from the wing deflected off the skate of Buffalo defenceman Mike Weber in front of Neuvirth. It was only Carolinas second power-play goal since the Olympic break. The Hurricanes came into the game mired in a 1-for-32 slump with the man advantage. Buffalo opened the scoring midway through the opening period after Tlusty was called for slashing Ennis on a breakaway. Official Eric Furlatt called a penalty shot for the infraction, and Ennis beat Ward with a rising shot above his blocker. The Hurricanes tied it little less than 3 minutes later when Skinners shot from a sharp angle went under Neuvirths blocker. "That first goal they scored was not a very good goal for my part," Neuvirth said. Carolina dominated for long stretches of the second period, outshooting the Sabres 22-4. But the Hurricanes couldnt find a way to beat Neuvirth. NOTES: Carolina D Joni Pitkanen said his recovery from a broken heel was progressing and that he hoped to play next year. Pitkanen has missed the entire season. wholesale jerseys
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. -- The U.S.WASHINGTON -- Even before Ryan Harrison broke his racket by spiking it on the Citi Open court or screamed "Oh, my God!" in exasperation, top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro was feeling pretty good about the way things were going Thursday. And they kept improving for the 2009 U.S. Open champion. Back in action after nearly a month off, del Potro won twice in a span of about 7 1/2 hours to reach the Citi Open quarterfinals. Del Potro started by winning a rain-postponed match against 107th-ranked American Harrison 6-1, 7-5, then returned to the court under the lights at night to defeat 14th-seeded Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-3, 6-3. Each lasted about 70 minutes. "Really good day," del Potro said, smiling as he leaned back in his chair and stretched out his legs. "The match against Tomic was a little better than the first one." Del Potro, who received a first-round bye, is 11-1 at the hard-court tournament in Washington, where he won titles in 2008 and 2009. The Argentine, No. 7 in the ATP rankings, hadnt competed since July 5, when he was eliminated in five sets by No. 1 Novak Djokovic in 4 hours, 43 minutes, the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history. "I was training hard before coming here," said del Potro, who will face No. 7-seeded Kevin Anderson, also a winner twice Thursday. Anderson eliminated James Duckworth 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, then beat Mardy Fish of the United States 7-6 (2), 6-1. Before that match finished, Fishs withdrawal from next weeks tournament in Montreal was announced; the event said he pulled out for personal reasons. "Its hard for me, right now, to come out and just play every single week," said Fish, who has missed time the past two seasons while dealing with a heart condition. "I still know I have a long ways to go to get back to where Id like to be and where I was, maybe, 12 months ago," he added. The other mens quarterfinals are No. 8 John Isner against No. 16 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 3 Tommy Haas against No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov, and Marinko Matosevic against Dmitry Tursunov. Matosevic beat No. 4 Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (7); Baghdatis surprised No. 2 Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-1, 6-2; the 35-year-old Haas finished off a second-round match suspended overnight in the third set, then also won Thursdays last match, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 against No. 13 Ivan Dodig, wrapping it up after midnight. Del Potro said his left knee felt fine; he wasnt wearing any sort of wrap the way he did at the All England Club afterr hyperextending it on a fall during a match.dddddddddddd "You never know" how the knee will hold up, said del Potros coach, Franco Davin. "For now, its OK." Harrison was ranked inside the top 50 last season and is widely seen as the next top American male player. "He has good potential. He serves well. He plays well on hard courts. But sometimes he looks young," said del Potro, who was a couple of weeks shy of his 21st birthday when he won the U.S. Open. "Hes still 21. He needs to learn a few things to become a better player in the future." Harrison trailed 4-0 after only 11 minutes. Both men hit serves at the considerable speed of 130 mph, but the difference was that once the ball was in play, del Potros groundstrokes were far more consistent. "Sometimes you go out there and for whatever reason, its not feeling as well as you want it to," said Harrison, 0-18 against top-10 players. "The best guys, whenever they see someones off, they just press you, and they just make you feel like youre under duress all the time." After pushing a forehand long to get broken at 3-0, Harrison smashed his equipment, earning a warning from the chair umpire for racket abuse. During a particularly rough stretch from late in the first set to early in the second, Harrison dropped 13 consecutive points, a drought that ended right after he dumped a backhand in the net, looked to the sky and yelled. From there, he played evenly against del Potro, until getting broken in the last game. Del Potro thinks Harrisons histrionics help foes. "Its easier for us, because we ... (see) our opponent really, really low," del Potro said. Three other American men joined Harrison on the way out: No. 6-seeded Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Tim Smyczek. In womens action, the only seeded player to lose was No. 8 Madison Keys of the United States, who failed to convert two match points and bowed out against Monica Niculescu 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (6). The womens quarterfinals are No. 1-seeded Angelique Kerber vs. No. 7 Magdalena Rybarikova, No. 3 Ekaterina Makarova vs. Niculescu, No. 4 Alize Cornet vs. Sorana Cirstea, and Andrea Petkovic vs. Paula Ormaechea. The most unusual ending to a match Thursday came when Olga Puchkova of Russia was defaulted by the WTA supervisor after hitting a line judge in the knee with a ball between points. Trailing Ormaechea 3-6, 6-3, 4-1, Puchkova was forced to forfeit even though she said it was an accident. ' ' '