Nathan Gerbe and Steve Ott shined as the Sabres came out strong in their second straight game in the Sunshine State. An eventful first period was full of goals, Buffalo grabbing three and the Panthers snagging two. Not only were both lights lit, but gloves were dropped as fans watched John Scott face off in a rematch against George Parros, this time leaving the 6’8” monster standing tall. Scott took Marcus Foligno’s spot in the lineup tonight, who has struggled so far this season and may benefit from watching the game from upstairs.
Campbell once again scored on his former team, tying the game with under two minutes left. The Sabres would not let him take the win though as they dominated the shoot out, scoring on both attempts while Ryan Miller stopped both Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller.
Nathan Gerbe and Steve Ott combined for 5 points, Gerbe getting his first two goals of the season and being awarded the first star of the game. The Sabres may have finally found some secondary scoring by putting Tyler Ennis, who also found the back of the net, between these two gritty grinders. The offensive pressure put on eventually led to the Panthers pulling Scott Clemmensen in the first period, who let in three goals on ten shots. Jose Theodore stopped all fifteen shots put on during regulation and overtime, but was not able to overcome Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville in the shootout.
After the game, Miller spoke of his team’s success. He wanted to keep them organized in the second period, freezing the puck and keeping calm. He stopped 36 of 39 shots on net and allowed one power play goal. Adam Pardy took three penalties tonight, one of which resulted in Drew Shore’s first period goal.
Ron Rolston expressed how he liked his team bouncing back from the late third period goal against that eventually sent the game into overtime. He realizes the talent and potential of the young centers the Sabres feature as he commended the improvements in the faceoff circle, but noted their need for further development.
It seems Rolston was able to see Gerbe’s good play as of late and gave him the opportunity to help the Sabres get the win. The former Boston College stud was all over the ice tonight and gave his team a definite boost of energy.
This is only the third time this season the Sabres have won back to back games and still find themselves holding on to playoff dreams. The win gives the Sabres 17 points on the season and are now five points behind the eighth place Rangers.
The Sabres return home and host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.