Panthers can’t hold early lead, fall at home to Sabres
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Steve Ott scored the go-ahead goal, Jhonas Enroth made 44 saves and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Florida Panthers 3-1 Friday night to win for just the second time in 12 games and break a three-game losing streak.
Rasmus Ristolainen and Cody Hodgson also scored for Buffalo.
The Sabres went ahead 2-1 at 12:42 in the third on Ott’s goal. Christian Ehrhoff took a shot from the point and Ott was able to tip it past Jacob Markstrom.
Hodgson scored an empty-net goal with 47 seconds left.
Jesse Winchester scored for Florida and Markstrom stopped 18 shots. Florida lost for the fifth time in six games despite taking a season-high 45 shots.
The Sabres tied it 1-all on Ristolainen’s goal at 13:32 of the second period. The 18-year-old rookie took a slap shot from the right circle that got past Markstrom for his first NHL goal.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Winchester’s goal in the first period. Sean Bergenheim passed from the left circle across to Winchester, who was able to tip in the puck high into the net at 13:58 for his second goal of the season. It was Bergenheim’s first NHL point since April 26, 2012, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against New Jersey.
Bergenheim played two games in Finland during the lockout last year, but has spent 18 months recovering from multiple surgeries on his abdomen, groin and hip.
The Panthers outshot the Sabres 18-4 in the first period, and led in shots 34-14 at the end of the second.
NOTES: Florida’s 45 shots is a season high and the most since 39 in the season opener at Dallas on Oct. 3. . Florida G Tim Thomas is on injured reserve after a sustaining a lower body injury on Oct. 22 against Chicago. He will be eligible to be activated on Nov. 1. . Buffalo C Cody McCormick, sidelined with a leg injury since Oct. 19, returned to the ice on Friday.