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Sabres defeat Panthers for second-straight win

The Buffalo Sabres accomplished something they haven’t done in about three weeks: win back to back games. The Sabres needed a shootout to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-3. Nathan Gerbe scored his first two goals of the season in the victory.

It would be Gerbe who would get the Sabres on the board first. Steve Ott made a cross ice pass to Gerbe, who then beat goaltender Scott Clemmensen with a wrist shot to make it 1-0. Tyler Ennis also picked up an assist on the goal. The Sabres would strike again on the power-play, with this time Tyler Ennis picking up the loose puck to beat the Florida goaltender to make it 2-0.

Florida would respond with a power-play goal of their own minutes later. With a mad scramble in front of the net, Drew Shore was able to beat goaltender Ryan Miller to make it 2-1. About one minute later, Marcel Goc beat out both Robyn Regehr and Cody Hodgson behind the net and came around and took a shot to beat Miller to tie it at 2 apiece.

Nathan Gerbe #42 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal with teammates against the Florida Panthers Photo Credit: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
Nathan Gerbe #42 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal with teammates against the Florida Panthers
Photo Credit: Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Buffalo responded quickly afterwards with Gerbe scoring his second of the night. Gerbe out-worked Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson and beat Clemmensen top-shelf to make it 3-2. Clemmensen would be pulled in favor of Jose Theodore.

It all looked well for the Sabres in the final minutes of the third period. However, late-period goals have been a habit for the blue and gold this season. With about 90 seconds left, there was a face-off in the Buffalo zone. Goc won the face-off and back it came to Brian Campbell. Campbell let one go and it slipped past Miller to tie it at 3-3.

The game would go to overtime and nobody would score there. Buffalo responded to giving up the late goal in the shootout with goals from Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville, while Miller saved both of Florida’s opportunities. Both Sabres shootout goals were practically in the same spot, above the pad on the blocker side to beat Theodore.
The Sabres will host the New Jersey Devils Saturday afternoon at the First Niagara Center.

Game Notes:
-Marcus Foligno was a healthy scratch in favor of John Scott
-Jordan Leopold missed yet another game due to an upper-body injury
-Ryan Miller made 40 saves in the win
-Even with the Sunshine State sweep, the Sabres sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference
-Sabres players had parents or mentors watching from the stands on this Florida trip. Perhaps they should stay for the rest of the season.

Bob Duggan

Bob Duggan

Huge Sabres and hockey fan! Attends several games a year. Enjoys seeing Coaches Corner and Don Cherry. Glad there is an NHL season! Sabres winning the Cup in 2013! Follow me on twitter @dugganbob
Bob Duggan

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