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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 15th (All times eastern)

Buffalo Sabres (4-1-0) at Florida Panthers (3-2-0), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Buffalo Sabres target their third consecutive win this evening when they continue a three-game road trip against the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

On Thursday, Diel Briere and Thomas Vanek each scored a goal in a shootout to lead Buffalo past the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Briere also tallied a goal in regulation and Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, who have won four of their first five contests. Maxim Afinogenov scored his fourth goal of the season in the win.

After the visitors tied the contest in the third period, Briere started the shootout with his goal over the glove of Tampa netminder John Grahame. Martin St. Louis was up next for the Lightning, but Miller stopped his attempt. After each club failed on their next chance, Vanek was able to slide his shot through the legs of Grahame to seal the win for the Sabres.

Buffalo, which will play four of their next six away from home, will conclude a three-game road trip in Boston on Thursday.

Florida, meanwhile, comes into tonight's affair after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Nathan Horton and Juraj Kolnik both lit the lamp for the Panthers, losers of two of their last three games.

The Panthers were trying for their first 4-1 start since the 1995-96 season, when they reached the Stanley Cup Finals.

Roberto Luongo, who opened the season with back-to-back shutouts, was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 15 shots. Jamie McLennan made nine stops on 10 shots in relief.

Gary Roberts missed the game with a groin injury and is questionable for tonight's tilt.

Florida, which will hit the road for two games following tonight's contest, is 2-1 in its own arena this season.

Buffalo went 2-1-1 against Florida in 2003-04.

10/15 10:47:33 ET


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