NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, December 7th
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (21-4-2) at Florida Panthers (9-15-5), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The mighty Buffalo Sabres will continue their five-game
road trip tonight, as they visit the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
The Sabres are 21-4-2 this season and are currently leading both the Northeast
Division and Eastern Conference.
Buffalo played the third test of its swing Tuesday in Tampa and posted a 4-1
victory on a night when the Lightning honored their former captain Dave
Daniel Briere stole the show for the Sabres, netting his first-career hat
trick to lead his club at St. Pete Times Forum. Briere completed the feat by
scoring twice in the first period and once in the final stanza. He now has 13
goals on the season and is tied for the team lead in points (33) with left
winger Thomas Vanek.
Chris Drury had the other tally for the Sabres, who have won two of their last
three games and five straight against the Lightning, outscoring the Bolts
30-13 during the streak. Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville each had two
assists and Ryan Miller made 29 stops between the pipes.
The win improved Buffalo to an impressive 12-2-2 as the visiting team this
season. The Sabres have games in Montreal and New Jersey remaining on the
Meanwhile, the Panthers will try to win back-to-back games for just their
second this season. Florida ended a six-game losing streak Tuesday night with
a win in Pittsburgh. Olli Jokinen's power-play goal in the third period lifted
the Panthers to the 3-2 victory at Mellon Arena.
Jozef Stumpel and Gary Roberts also scored for Florida, which had scored only
one goal in its previous four games and improved to 1-5-1 in its last seven
games. Ruslan Salei added two assists while Alexander Auld made 25 saves in
The Panthers, who are in last place in the Southeast Division, last won
consecutive games on October 11 and 13.
There was some off-ice news for Florida on Wednesday, as veteran centerman Joe
Nieuwendyk decided to retire due to serious back problems. He made the
decision after doctors told him that the injury could worsen if he resumed
Buffalo edged Florida, 5-4, in overtime on November 10 and is 4-3-1 (1 tie) in
the last eight meetings.
12/07 10:49:34 ET