A back a forth game which saw the Florida Panthers almost tie the game multiple times ends in a 3-2 victory for the Buffalo Sabres.
Captain Brian Gionta opened the scoring with 32 seconds remaining in the first period after a great pass from Matt Moulson. This was a bit of revenge for Gionta as earlier in the period Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo robbed Gionta of a sure goal after some beautiful passing plays from Matt Moulson and Ryan O’ Reilly.
Buffalo had also dominated most of the play during the first period as well.
In another close play that resulted in a offsides, Tyler Ennis had appeared to score a wrap around goal on Luongo which would have made the game 2-0. The Panthers used their coaches challenge which overturned the goal. Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau tied the game with 10:25 left in the second period after going around a diving Linus Ullmark.
Coach Dan Byslma used his coaches challenge thinking the play was goaltender interference but the call stood. The Sabres took the lead back late in the period as Cody Franson scored his second goal in consecutive games, one timing a pass from Carlo Colaiacovo putting Buffalo up 2-1. Florida dominated play in the second period outshooting Buffalo 17-7 and looked like they were poised to tie it in the third.
Buffalo however played a defensive third period while getting outplayed throughout most of the period, keeping Florida to 12 shots but only shooting 5 themselves. But one of those shots ended up in the back of the net as Sam Reinhart deflected a Tyler Ennis shot on the power play which put the Sabres up 3-1 just 3:38 into the third.
While Florida was able to generate shots Linus Ullmark would not budge making big save after big save keeping the two goal lead. He would surrender a goal with 4 minutes left thanks to Vincent Trocheck redirecting an Aaron Ekblad shot making the game 3-2.
Ullmark would not be beat for the rest of the game, even making a save with his head, and Buffalo wins 3-2 and goes 2-0 on the second Florida trip of the season. Panthers outshot the Sabres in the game 37-18.
The Sabres’ next game will be Saturday at home vs. the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.