Panthers beat Sabres again

Sunrise, FL ( – Nick Bjugstad scored the eventual game-
winner in the closing seconds of the second period as the Florida Panthers
downed the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, on Saturday.

Brad Boyes and Tomas Kopecky also scored, and Aaron Ekblad assisted on all
three of Florida’s goals in the club’s fifth straight win over Buffalo.

Roberto Luongo, who shut the Sabres out on Oct. 17, stopped 26-of-28 shots,
while Michal Neuvirth’s 34-save effort went for naught.

Drew Stafford and Brian Gionta accounted for Buffalo’s offense.

Boyes took a cross-ice pass from Jussi Jokinen and ripped a wrister over
Neuvirth’s left shoulder with 6:55 remaining in the opening period.

Stafford, who missed the previous three games with a lower body injury, evened
things at the 11:02 mark of the middle stanza off a nice pass from Cody
Hodgson, but Kopecky answered 1:53 later with his first goal of the season.

Gionta’s tip-in of a Mike Weber shot tied it again, but Bjugstad found the
back of the net with 16.2 seconds left in the second.

The Sabres recorded 10 shots on net in the third period but did not get
anything through Luongo en route to their second straight loss.

Game Notes

Neuvirth was making his first start since Nov. 18 … Buffalo went 0-for-2 on
the power play, while Florida did not score on its only chance with a man