NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Florida
(Wednesday, October 21st)
Final Score: Buffalo 5, Florida 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller stopped 41 shots, while Mike Grier and Thomas Vanek scored to lead the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-2 rout of the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
Vanek, who led the Sabres with 40 goals in 2008-09, had missed the last two games with an upper body injury. Vanek suffered the injury in last Tuesday's win over Detroit after crashing into the boards following his second marker of the contest.
Jason Pominville also lit the lamp for the Sabres, who have just one loss in regulation on the season. Matt Ellis and Tyler Myers scored a goal each, while Henrik Tallinder added two assists in the win.
Steven Reinprecht and Rostislav Olesz scored for the Panthers, who have dropped five of six. Scott Clemmensen started in net, but was victimized for two goals on three shots and was replaced by Tomas Vokoun just 1:56 into the game. Vokoun ended with three saves on 33 shots.
"We needed a spark. It wasn't because of the play of the goaltender, but we weren't ready to play," said Panthers coach Peter DeBoer. "I tried to shock them into getting themselves back into the game. Sometimes those things work, sometimes they don't. Obviously it didn't tonight."
The Sabres got on the board 1:11 into the game. Tim Kennedy brought the puck up ice and slid a cross-ice pass to Grier, who snapped the shot into the net.
Just 45 seconds later, Buffalo made it 2-0 on a power play. Pominville's wrister from the left circle beat Clemmensen and Vokoun was brought in between the pipes.
The Sabres tacked on another 2:41 later, as Ellis' wrister beat Vokoun to make it a three-goal difference.
At about the midway point of the opening frame, Myers took a snap shot from the point. Vokoun went to grab the puck with his glove, but it ricocheted out of the glove and into the net to make it 4-0.
The Panthers finally got on the board with 5:49 left in the first. Reinprecht backhanded the puck into a wide-open net following a broken clear to make it 4-1. However, Vanek's tip-in about 2 1/2 minutes later made it a four-goal game again.
Miller stopped 12 shots in the second, while Vokoun halted 13 shots in the middle stanza to keep it at 5-1 at the second intermission.
Olesz added a wrister with 2:14 left in the game to account for the final margin.
Vanek has four goals on the year...Buffalo went 3-1-0 against Florida last season and has won 11 of the previous 14 meetings between the clubs.
10/22 01:21:37 ET