Sabres outlast Panthers 3-2 in first shootout of the season

Buffalo's point streak reaches five games to begin the 2019-20 campaign

Kyle Powell
October 11, 2019 - 7:14 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres' point streak reached five games to start the 2019-20 season on Friday as they staved off a late attack from the Florida Panthers to win in a shootout, 3-2 at KeyBank Center.

Johan Larsson and Marco Scandella supplied the regulation goal scoring for the Sabres, while Kyle Okposo picked up a pair of assists, and Linus Ullmark made 40 saves on 42 shots faced throughout the night.

There were no goals to be found in the first 20 minutes of play as both Ullmark and Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky put in respective clinics in their creases; making some highlight saves on a few high-danger chances. One of the best scoring chances of the opening period came from Casey Mittelstadt, who was sprung for a breakaway by defenseman Henri Jokiharju. Bobrovsky stopped Mittelstadt on his chance all alone, as the Sabres center went to the forehand trying to beat the two-time Vezina Trophy winner on the blocker side.

The second period was filled with more stellar goaltending from Ullmark and Bobrovsky. The Sabres generated better scoring chances, but Bobrovsky remained unwaivered for the Panthers.

Then, with 30.7 seconds left in the period, Larsson struck gold and gave Buffalo a much-deserved lead. Larsson accepted a pass from Kyle Okposo down the slot, and finally beat Bobrovsky on a 2-on-1 chance as the Sabres snatched the first goal of the night.

Buffalo's lead swelled to 2-0 just over two minutes into the third period, and it was Okposo again helping a teammate cash in thanks to a crisp pass. This time, it was Scandella who received the pass and the Sabres defenseman potted his first goal of the season.

That multi-goal lead would only last about four minutes for Buffalo, though, as Florida finally broke through against Ullmark with 6:15 gone in the frame. The netminder found himself slightly out of position in his crease, and Panthers forward Evgenii Dadonov deposited a goal past Ullmark's right leg to gave the visitors a pulse late in regulation.

With Bobrovsky pulled for the final minute-plus of regulation, Florida went to work in Buffalo's end of the ice and tied the game at 2-2 with 11-seconds left in the contest. Panthers winger Mike Hoffman buried a wrist shot above Ullmark's left shoulder and under the bar, and forced the game into overtime.

The Sabres dominated most of the play in the overtime period, out-shooting the Panthers 4-2 in the extra frame. However, Buffalo was unable to net the game-winner, even when both Bobrovsky and a Panthers defenseman were without a stick in the dying seconds of overtime.

In the shootout, Eichel led things off with a goal, and his tally was followed up with a stop on the other end by Ullmark on Florida forward Vincent Trocheck.

No goals were scored in the second round, which opened the door for Mittelstadt to end the game in the top of the third round. This time, the second-year center was able to beat Bobrovsky on the backhand under the bar to secure the 3-2 win.




Goal Summary:

First Period:


Second Period:

BUF: 19:29 - Johan Larsson (1) (Kyle Okposo, Zemgus Girgensons)

Third Period:

BUF: 2:02 - Marco Scandella (1) (Kyle Okposo, Zemgus Girgensons)
FLA: 6:15 - Evgenii Dadonov (2) (Jonathan Huberdeau, Denis Malgin); 19:49 - Mike Hoffman (5) (Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Huberdeau)




Penalty Summary:

First Period:

​FLA: 10:00 - Keith Yandle (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 6:27 - Rasmus Dahlin (Slashing - 2 min.)
FLA: 6:12 - Mackenzie Weegar (Holding - 2 min.); 17:27 - Mike Hoffman (Cross-checking - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 7:26 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Slashing - 2 min.)
FLA: 3:38 - Frank Vatrano (Tripping - 2 min.)



Shots on Goal:

BUF: 33(13, 11, 5, 4)
FLA: 42 (11, 11, 18, 2)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 40 saves
FLA: Sergei Bobrovsky - 31 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 4 (0%)
FLA: 0 for 2 (0%)

Three Stars:

1.) Linus Ullmark - BUF
2.) Kyle Okposo - BUF
3.) Johan Larsson - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres have the weekend off before wrapping up their three-game homestand on Monday against the Dallas Stars for a Columbus Day matinee contest at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 3 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game show kicking off at 2 p.m. on the flagship of the Buffalo Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.

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