Florida Panthers' Tomas Kopecky (82) and Buffalo Sabres' Cody Hodgson slam into each other as they chase the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:51 pm
Santorelli lifts Panthers past Sabres in shootout
By PAUL GEREFFIAssociated Press
Jonathan Huberdeau also scored in the shootout for the Panthers and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo.
Shawn Matthias had two goals in regulation and Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Jacob Markstrom made 36 saves and Huberdeau also scored in the shootout.
Marcus Foligno, Drew Stafford, Andrej Sekera, and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres and Ryan Miller stopped 36 shots. Jason Pominville had a shootout goal.
Huberdeau tied the score at 4-all when he pushed the puck past Miller for a power-play goal with 6:09 remaining in the third period. It was Huberdeau's first goal in his past 10 games.
Foligno's power-play goal with 8:27 to go in the third broke a 3-3 tie. Jordan Leopold's shot from the left circle was deflected by Foligno and got past Markstrom.
Matthias's put the Panthers up 1-0 at 3:28 of the first period. Miller blocked a shot but Matthias took the rebound in the slot and beat Miller on the stick side. It gave Matthias eight goals in his past 15 games.
Fleischmann's power-play goal 43 seconds into the second period made it 2-0. He took a pass to the right of the crease and wristed the puck high into the net.
The Sabres made it 2-1 less than a minute later when Gerbe took a shot from above the right circle near the boards that deflected off a Panthers player and into the net at 1:36. Gerbe has four goals this season and three of them have come against the Panthers.
The Sabres scored twice late in the second to take a 3-2 lead.
Sekera grabbed a loose puck at the point and fired it past Markstrom with 5:04 remaining to tie the score. Christian Ehroff's shot from above the right circle was deflected by Stafford and bounced into the net with 56 seconds to go to put Buffalo ahead.
The Panthers tied it 3-all on Matthias's second goal as he got a rebound at the bottom of the left circle and his wrist shot got past Miller at 5:23 of the third.
NOTES: Sabres F Thomas Vanek was scratched from Thursday's game with an upper-body injury he suffered in Tuesday's game at Tampa Bay. ... Sabres C Steve Ott played his 600th NHL game. ... Panthers D Ed Jovanovski will have hip surgery on April 5th. Jovanovski has only played six games this season and has been on injured reserve since Feb. 1. ... Kopecky has 16 points in his last 22 games.