BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Maxim Afinogenov had a goal and two assists, and Thomas Vanek added a goal and an assist to help the Buffalo Sabres remain unbeaten and set a franchise record with their 12th consecutive victory, 5-4 over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

The Sabres, who are off to a 7-0 start this season, surpassed the 11-game winning streak that began at the end of the 1974-75 season. They are one game from matching their best start ever, set in 1975.

Buffalo hasn’t lost a regular-season game since April 7, against Philadelphia.

Vanek’s quick shot from the slot squirted through goalie Cam Ward’s legs with 61/2 minutes to go and gave Buffalo a 4-3 lead. Jaroslav Spacek made it 5-3 nearly 2 minutes later.

Jason Pominville and Dmitri Kalinin also scored for the Sabres.

Scott Walker, Eric Staal, Eric Belanger and Mike Commodore had goals for the Hurricanes, who had their three-game winning streak stopped.

Both teams traded goals in the first period before Staal gave Carolina a 2-1 lead 8:37 into the second period with the Hurricanes on a two-man advantage.

Kalinin answered for Buffalo with a short-handed goal, blasting a high slap shot over Ward’s right shoulder from the left circle.

Afinogenov gave the Sabres their first lead 58 seconds later, banking a shot that went off the back of Ward’s skates. Carolina tied it just over 2 minutes later when Belanger’s shot from the side of the net ricocheted off goalie Ryan Miller’s skates.

Commodore made it 5-4 with a short-handed goal with 1:15 remaining in the third.

Miller improved to 6-0 by making 16 saves, including stopping Staal on a breakaway 30 seconds into the game.

Ward, who was making his fourth consecutive start and seventh overall, finished with 24 saves.

Notes: The Hurricanes wrap up their season-high seven-game road trip on Saturday against the New York Islanders. … Buffalo opens a three-game road trip Saturday in Boston. … Carolina F Ray Whitney added two assists, and is one point shy of 600 for his career. … Carolina D Bret Hedican was back in the lineup after missing two games with a hip injury. … Kalinin’s goal was Buffalo’s first short-handed score this season. … Only one penalty was called in the first period, and that came with 48 seconds remaining.

AP-ES-10-20-06 2245EDT


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