NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Florida
(Friday, October 26th)
Final Score: Buffalo 4, Florida 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Drew Stafford scored a controversial game- winning goal with 8:48 left in the contest and Buffalo scored three times in the third period to top Florida, 4-2, at BankAtlantic Center.
Jochen Hecht and Ales Kotalik also lit the lamp for the Sabres, who snapped their three-game losing streak and won their first road contest of the season.
Ryan Miller made 33 stops for his third win of the season.
Jozef Stumpel and Ville Peltonen scored for the Panthers, who have dropped three of four. Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 33 shots in defeat.
After a scoreless second, Hecht knotted the game, 2-2, with 11:35 left in regulation on a wrister from the left circle.
Less than three minutes later, Stafford carried down the right wing, and shot from a sharp angle at the outer edge of the right circle. The puck bounced high off Vokoun's blocker to the right side of the net. As it dropped, it appeared that Sabres forward Daniel Paille might have touched it with his stick above the crossbar, and the disc settled into the cage.
A lengthy review determined the puck was not hit by a high stick, and Buffalo took its first lead of the contest, 3-2.
With just over six minutes to go, Stephen Weiss nearly pulled the Panthers even in a 4-on-4, but his spinning backhander just trickled past the right post.
Paille's reward came with three minutes left in regulation. He cruised down the left wing and scored with a wrister inside the right post while shorthanded to give the Sabres a two-goal edge, and Miller was strong down the stretch to lock up the victory.
Building on the momentum from Wednesday's win over Philadelphia, the Panthers struck just 1:45 into the contest on Stumpel's tally.
The Sabres answered on a 5-on-3 power-play at 7:53 on Kotalik's second of the season, but Peltonen provided the Panthers with a 2-1 lead just 45 seconds before the end of the first period.
Buffalo has won five of the last six matchups...Florida fell to 13-12-1 all- time against the Sabres at home...The Sabres began last season by winning their first 10 road games...Hecht's goal was his 300th NHL point...The Panthers signed free-agent defenseman Jassen Cullimore to a one-year deal on Friday. Cullimore had not garnered interest by any NHL club after spending last season with the Blackhawks...Florida placed forward Rostislav Olesz on injured reserve...The Sabres continue their six-game road trip Saturday in Tampa, while the Panthers head to Nashville also on Saturday.
10/26 22:31:40 ET