Buffalo at Florida

Panthers 3, Sabres 1


SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers hope this short winning streak is the beginning of a longer one.

Ric Jackman scored the winner and Alex Auld made 17 saves as the Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Thursday night.

Stephen Weiss and Olli Jokinen also scored for the Panthers, who won back-to-back games for just the second time this season. Florida hadn't won consecutive games since Oct. 11-13, when it beat Carolina and Tampa Bay.

"Everybody can be proud of their efforts tonight and the way we played," Jokinen said. "We're going keep working hard and try to get better every day."

Daniel Briere scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots.

"It was an excellent game," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "I thought we really worked hard. We made some good decisions and moved the puck. We know they are the best team in the conference. We came back (after a six-game losing streak), picked ourselves up and it's not too late."

Jackman's goal put Florida ahead 2-1 less than a minute into the third period. Nathan Horton brought the puck down the ice to the right circle, then backhanded to Jackman, who put the puck past Miller for his first goal of the season.

"I just tried to put it in the net and thankfully it went in," Jackman said. "That was a big goal for our team and we built off it. This was a huge win."

The Panthers stretched their lead to 3-1 on a power-play goal with 5:53 remaining when Weiss poked in the rebound of a Jay Bouwmeester shot that caromed off Miller's left leg.

"We weren't ready to play and I'll take the hit for that," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We thought the game was going to be easy. We had one guy who played tonight and that was our goalie. After (our) goal, I should have called time-out and had everyone go pat (Miller) on the pads just to thank him for keeping us there."

Buffalo tied the score at 1 during a five-on-three power play in the second. Chris Drury's shot was blocked by Auld but Briere picked up the loose puck and slipped it into the right corner of the net at 19:27. The Sabres had taken only seven shots on goal to that point but got off six with the two-man advantage.

"Besides that five-on-three we were never able to get anything offensively," Briere said. "It was one of those night we couldn't get our legs going. This is the worst I've seen this year."

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Jokinen's power-play goal at 4:53 of the second. Weiss took a shot from the left circle that Miller blocked, and Jokinen was there to drill the puck past Miller's outstretched left leg.

"We got the puck turned around on us quite a bit tonight," Miller said. "It's frustrating for us but we need to be better."


Briere has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games against Florida ... Jokinen has three goals and four assists during a four-game points streak at home ...The Panthers played their first game without 20-year veteran Joe Nieuwendyk, who retired Wednesday due to chronic back ailments.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Buffalo (21-5-2)0101
Florida  (10-15-5) «0123
Three Stars
S. Weiss

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Auld

Saves: 17
Save Pct.: .944
R. Jackman

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
04:53Power Play - Olli Jokinen (13), Snap Shot - Assists: Stephen Weiss, Jay Bouwmeester
19:27Power Play - Daniel Briere (14), Snap Shot - Assists: Chris Drury, Maxim Afinogenov
00:49Ric Jackman, Slap Shot - Assists: Nathan Horton, Gary Roberts
05:53Power Play - Stephen Weiss (6), Snap Shot - Assists: Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton
Penalty Summary
04:25Jackman: Holding - 2 min.
13:15Pominville: Hooking - 2 min.
15:36Afinogenov: Holding - 2 min.
15:59Weiss: Interference - 2 min.
03:58Gaustad: Delay of Game - 2 min.
09:26Vanek: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
12:00Briere: Hooking - 2 min.
18:09Mezei: Interference - 2 min.
18:18Weiss: Tripping - 2 min.
05:21Novotny: Holding - 2 min.
14:13Mezei: Fighting - 5 min.
14:13Paetsch: Fighting - 5 min.
14:13Paetsch: Instigator - 2 min.
14:13Paetsch: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
16:43Allen: Delay of Game - 2 min.
Ryan Miller59:05353
Alex Auld59:58171
Attendance - 15385
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Don Koharski, Tim Peel
Line Judges - Pierre Racicot, Tony Sericolo
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