In the first road game of the season, the Sabres dropped a 3-2 decision to the Florida Panthers. The Panthers have won eight of the last nine meetings against Buffalo.
Florida got the scoring started with a goal from Aleksander Barkov in the first period. He’d add an assist later in the game. The Panthers have allowed just five goals over the first four games of the season.
The biggest problem for the Sabres was the presence of Jaromir Jagr. Even at the age of 43, he’s still finding ways to put points on the board. He scored twice and added an assist, which helped earn him the first star of the game. Jagr now needs five goals to tie Marcel Dionne for 4th place on the NHL’s all-time goal scoring list.
The Sabres never had the lead, but were never out of the game either. Jack McCabe scored his first career NHL goal to bring the Sabres within one. Later, Tyler Ennis notched his first of the season, which again brought Buffalo within a goal.
Buffalo had opportunities to do more damage, but they couldn’t capitalize. After scoring three power play goal last game, the Sabres went just 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Chad Johnson stopped 26 of 29 shots in goal and has played in all four games this season, starting the last three.
Barkov’s goal turned out to be the game-winner. Nick Bjugstad and Aaron Ekblad also got an assist each.
Roberto Luongo stayed strong in goal, stopping 24 of 26 shots, helping the Panthers earn their third win of the young season. Luongo is now 7-0 against Buffalo over the past three years.
The Sabres saw the return of captain Brian Gionta, who was a -1 and received just short of 20 minutes of ice time.
The Sabres continue their road trip as their next game is Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against the Tampa Bay Lightning. This will be the second meeting of the season as Buffalo will look to avenge a 4-1 loss that Tampa Bay gave them last Saturday.