Buffalo at Florida

Sabres push aside struggling Panthers in shootout

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Buffalo Sabres are hoping a two-game winning streak is a sign of better things to come.

Nathan Gerbe scored his first two goals of the season, Ryan Miller made 38 saves and the Sabres beat the struggling Florida Panthers 4-3 in a shootout Thursday night.

Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville both scored in the tiebreaker for Buffalo. Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller missed their attempts for Florida.

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Tyler Ennis also scored in regulation for the Sabres, and Steve Ott had two assists. Buffalo has won two straight since losing four in a row and is 2-1 since Ron Rolston took over as interim coach when Lindy Ruff was fired.

"We'll take it. It's a step in the direction we need to keep going in," Rolston said. "We still have a big ceiling in terms of room for improvement for our team. Our mindset has to be to get back and be better again come Saturday night [at New Jersey]."

Brian Campbell, Marcel Goc and Drew Shore scored for the Panthers. Jose Theodore, who replaced Scott Clemmensen in goal with 3:14 left in the first period, stopped all 12 shots he faced.

The Panthers have lost eight of their past 10 games and six of seven at home, but have picked up a point in four of those losses.

"You probably feel like your fans do. There's a few games over last week where we ended up with one point and you leave the rink with a bad taste in your mouth," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "If you look at tempo, pace and the way the game played out, we're not dissatisfied with the way we played the game."

Campbell tied it at 3 with a slap shot from the top of the left circle with 1:26 left in regulation after the Panthers won a faceoff.

All the other scoring came in the first period.

"It's frustrating not getting the two points," Campbell said.

With the score tied at 2, Gerbe's second goal of the game, a wrist shot from the short side, reclaimed the lead for the Sabres and chased Clemmensen, who allowed three goals on 10 shots.

"That was a good game," Gerbe said. "We settled back maybe a little too much in the second, [and] they took it to us. But a resilient win for us. Obviously, we don't want to give up that late goal, but Ryan did a great job getting us in a shootout."

The Panthers cut it to 2-1 on a power-play goal by Shore, the second of the season for the rookie. He backhanded a shot from in front that went under Miller's pads at 14:24 of the first.

Florida tied the game at 2 less than a minute later. Goc brought the puck out from behind the net and swept it past Miller for his second goal in two games.

The Sabres went ahead 1-0 on Gerbe's first goal in 17 games this year. His wrist shot from the right circle found its way into the net at 6:30.

"I think my speed the last 10-12 games has been real good and I feel like I'm getting my legs back, getting the chances," Gerbe said. "So hopefully, I can keep it rolling and keep scoring."

Ennis scored a power-play goal at 11:00 to give Buffalo a 2-0 lead. A Panthers defenseman tried to clear the puck from in front of the net but Ennis found it and flipped it in from the right side of the crease.

The Sabres were 0 for 13 on the power play coming in.

Notes

  • Florida D Mike Weaver left in the first period with a lower-body injury and will be out for an extended period, according to Dineen. "I don't want to put a timeframe on it. It's going to take quite a while by the looks of it," he said.
  • C Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game to attend his grandmother's funeral.
  • Buffalo D Jordan Leopold missed his fourth straight game and remains day to day with an upper-body injury.
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Sabres center Nathan Gerbe (right) scores his first two goals of the season -- both during a wild first period.  (USATSI)
Sabres center Nathan Gerbe (right) scores his first two goals of the season -- both during a wild first period. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Buffalo  (8-12-1) «30001 (2)4
Florida (6-9-5)20100 (0)3
Three Stars
N. Gerbe
BUF


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Miller
BUF


Saves: 40
Save Pct.: .930
B. Campbell
FLA


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:30 - Nathan Gerbe (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ott, Ennis
11:00Power Play - Tyler Ennis (7), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
14:24Power Play - Drew Shore (2), Backhand Shot. Assist: Kulikov, Campbell
15:20 - Marcel Goc (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Fleischmann, Skille
16:46 - Nathan Gerbe (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ott, Weber
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
18:34 - Brian Campbell (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Goc
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
  - Thomas Vanek (2), GOAL
  - Jason Pominville (2), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:47Scott, 5 min, Fighting
02:47Parros, 5 min, Fighting
10:51Shore, 2 min, Hooking
13:43Pardy, 2 min, Hooking
19:48Weber, 2 min, Interference
19:48Kopecky, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
2ND PERIOD
07:25Vanek, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
05:25Pardy, 2 min, Tripping
11:33Pardy, 2 min, Slashing
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
BUF115824
FLA9161439
 
Other Games
Det 2 Final
SJ 1
TB 1 Final
NYR 4
Pitt 1 Final
Car 4
Ott 1 Final
OT
Bos 2
Tor 5 Final
OT
NYI 4
NJ 1 Final
Wpg 3
Chi 3 Final
StL 0
Edm 5 Final
Dal 1
Cal 4 Final
Colo 5
Min 4 Final
Pho 3