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Panthers score two late, escape Buffalo with win

Oct 30, 2011 - 3:54 AM
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Jason Garrison's goal with less than two minutes to go in regulation gave the Florida Panthers a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Marcel Goc and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore made 24 saves in Florida's third win in four games.

Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville lit the lamp for Buffalo as the Sabres lost for the third time in four games.

"I think from start to finish we didn't play the game we wanted to," Vanek said about the loss.

Ryan Miller stopped 33 shots in a losing effort.

Trailing 2-1 with less than five minutes to play, Florida went on the attack with each team having four skaters due to concurring penalties. Fleischmann skated down the left side of the Buffalo zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Tomas Kopecky. Kopecky fanned on his one-timer attempt, but recovered the puck and bounced a pass off the boards behind the net back to Fleischmann, who laid an easy backhander into the open net before Miller could recover to tie the game with 3:58 to go.

Just over two minutes later, Garrison sent a one-timer from the high slot that bounced off the leg off Panthers center Cody McCormick and past the glove of Miller as the goaltender was screened by his own player for the deciding goal.

"When it comes near him that things popping off there pretty hard," Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen said about Garrison's shot. "I don't think anyone in hockey would have much chance on that."

Buffalo had a goal disallowed halfway through the first period as Matt Ellis set up in front of the net and directed a Brad Boyes pass from the right corner through the goaltenders legs with his skate. Replays showed Ellis moved his right skate in a kicking motion to redirect the puck into the net.

Neither team could find a way to put the puck into the net for the remainder of the first period, but Florida found a way early in the second. Scottie Upshall gathered the puck behind the Sabres' net and sent a pass across the back of the zone to Goc, whose backhander from a sharp angle from the left corner somehow snuck under the pads of Miller at the 6:48 mark.

Buffalo was able to tie the game with less than two minutes left in the second when Vanek streaked into the Florida zone, shaked Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell with a shoulder fake, wrapped around the net from right to left and laid the puck into the open net as Theodore fell to the ice and could not get to other side.

The Sabres then took the lead in the third period thanks to a Shawn Matthias hooking penalty. Boyes took the puck beyond the Panthers' blue line and advanced into the Florida zone. He stumbled at the right point and glided down the zone on his knees, sending a pass across the ice to Pominville, who kicked the pass with his left skate to his stick and wristed a shot through the short side and into the twine for the power-play goal with 7:07 left in regulation.

Game Notes

Florida wrapped up a three-game road trip with a 2-1 record...It was just the Panthers' fifth win in the last 16 trips to Buffalo...The Sabres fell to 1-2 in a five-game homestand. Philadelphia comes to town on Wednesday followed by Calgary on Friday.