Buffalo 4 – Florida 3 (SO)
Thursday, February 28, 2013
SUNRISE, Fla. – It had been a while since the Buffalo Sabres held a lead after two periods, and they nearly let this one slip away. After allowing the tying goal late in the third period, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville each scored in the shootout to cap off a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
Nathan Gerbe led the way with his first two goals of the season, while Tyler Ennis (1+1) and Steve Ott (0+2) each had two points, giving the Sabres consecutive wins for just the third time this season. It was also the first time since March 19-27 of last season that Buffalo has posted two straight road wins. The Sabres improved to 8-12-1 (17 pts.) on the season, and 5-6-0 away from home. Buffalo’s only other win when leading after two periods this season was on January 21 in Toronto.
Ryan Miller made 40 saves in the win, including 29 over the final two periods. It was the ninth time this season that Miller faced at least 35 shots in a game, and the fourth time the opposition has fired 40 or more in his direction -- Miller has a record of 3-1 in those four games.
In a wild opening period that resulted in five goals, Buffalo escaped with a 3-2 lead thanks to Nathan Gerbe’s first two of the season. Gerbe opened the scoring at 6:30 when his shot from the faceoff dot changed direction off Peter Mueller and past a startled Scott Clemmensen. Tyler Ennis gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead at the 11-minute mark, burying the easy rebound that had squirted to Clemmensen’s left. It was Buffalo’s first road power play goal since January 31 at Boston. Drew Shore and Marcel Goc brought the Panthers even with goals 56 seconds apart, but Gerbe put the Sabres up by one at 16:46 with his second of the game, burying a wrist shot over Clemmensen’s left shoulder. That would signal the end for Clemmensen, who was replaced by Jose Theodore after allowing three goals on 10 shots.
Florida outshot Buffalo 16-5 in the second period (for a two period lead of 25-16), but the scoring went dry for both teams after their five-goal outburst in the opening 20 minutes.
Buffalo looked to be headed to a regulation win before former Sabre Brian Campbell tied things up at 3-3 at the 18:34 mark. Marcel Goc won the draw cleanly back to Campbell, and his point blast beat a screened Miller high on his stick side.
Neither team could decide the game in overtime, with the Panthers holding a 4-1 edge in shots during the extra period. Buffalo took home the extra point in the shootout thanks to goals by Vanek and Pominville. The Panthers were scoreless in their two attempts, with Miller’s glove stop on Peter Mueller being the only save he had to make. Jonathan Huberdeau missed the net on his shot attempt.
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
The Sabres are 2-0 in shootouts this season; 45-37 all-time… Nathan Gerbe’s two-goal game was the fourth of his career, and first since April 8, 2011 vs. Philadelphia… Tyler Ennis posted his fifth multi-point game of the season; the Sabres are now 25-3-2 in his career when Ennis has at least two points… 74th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo leads the series with a 43-26-5 record. Buffalo is 19-15-2 on the road against the Panthers all-time.
Jordan Leopold missed his fourth straight game with an upper body injury… T.J. Brennan and Marcus Foligno were Buffalo’s healthy scratches … Ville Leino (hip, 21 games) and Alexander Sulzer (lower body, 2 games) are both on IR.
BUFFALO’S REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Time on Ice: Christian Ehrhoff, 27:39
Shots: Jason Pominville, 4
Blocked Shots: Tyler Myers, 3
Hits: Robyn Regehr, 5
Faceoff Wins: Ott/Hodgson, 10
Total Faceoffs: Cody Hodgson, 23 (10+13)
BUFFALO’S RECORD WHEN...
* Scoring First: 6-4-0
* Leading after the first period: 3-2-0
* Leading after the second period: 2-0-0
* Outshot by an opponent: 6-9-0
Overall: 9/73, 12.3%
Road: 2/35, 5.7%
Overall: 70/87, 80.5%
Road: 46/54, 85.2%
* Saturday vs. New Jersey 3 p.m.
* Sunday @ NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
* Tuesday @ Carolina, 7 p.m.
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