for this game

Sabres top Panthers to end four-game slide

Mar 16, 2007 - 4:25 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff looked long and hard at his bench for some offensive life.

Chris Drury snapped a third-period tie and Drew Stafford scored twice as the Buffalo Sabres ended a four-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.

After scoring just nine goals during the skid, Buffalo (45-19-6) topped Florida for the fourth time in their last five outings and maintained a two-point edge over the New Jersey Devils (43-20-8) for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Drury netted his team-leading 35th goal at 9:50 of the third period when he tipped defenseman Brian Campbell's blast from the right point past goaltender Ed Belfour.

"It was a deflection," Drury said. "Just one of those things where you are in the right spot at the right time, I guess. You just want to get things back on track and we managed to do that tonight."

The tally was originally credited to Campbell but was changed after the game. However, the blueliner finished with three assists.

Nathan Horton, who scored his 26th tally for Florida in the second period, forged a 3-3 tie by completing his fourth multi-goal game of the campaign at 2:45 of the third with a wrister from near the left corner inside the left goalpost.

"It's not good for us," Horton said. "We got a lot of shots but they didn't go in for us. It's not good for me or anyone else when you don't come away with the W."

The Sabres tied the score, 2-2, at 9:35 of the middle session when Dainius Zubrus redirected Henrik Tallinder's shot from the right point between Belfour's legs.

Stafford gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead just 3:07 later by shooting Campbell's cross-crease feed from the doorstep for his seventh goal of the season. He added his second of the game with 4:43 remaining.

"That was a huge win," Stafford said. "The guys are pretty happy to get back in the win column. It's not fun when you're losing."

Jason Pominville netted his 29th goal and netminder Ty Conklin made 42 saves in his first start with the Sabres after being acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 27.

"It was a good start for me and hopefully I can build on this and help us move forward," Conklin said. "I can take a lot from this win. The fact that we were able to break the losing streak makes it that much more important for us."

"I thought Ty played well for us," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, who registered his 350th victory. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes. For him to step in like that, we have to be happy with his performance."

Stephen Weiss opened the scoring with his 18th tally and Belfour stopped 15 shots in his 22nd straight start for the Panthers (29-29-13), who remained eight points in back of the Carolina Hurricanes (35-29-8) for the last playoff berth in the East.

"It's a tough loss," Florida left wing Martin Gelinas said. "We have to keep our hopes alive. What else can you do? The bounces just didn't go our way. They are a team that likes to come at you and come at you. You can never let up. Once they got going it all seemed to snowball."

"It's tough, especially when you look at how Weiss, Horton and Gelinas have played," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "They dominated. They had over 10 or 11 chances. They are just a dominant like right now and have been for a while."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 3 2 5
    FLORIDA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 18 (MARTIN GELINAS, JAY BOUWMEESTER)
    13:16
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 29 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 0:32
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (STEPHEN WEISS, MARTIN GELINAS) 2:49
    BUF - DAINIUS ZUBRUS 22

    Mar 15 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 5
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 8 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, NATHAN PAETSCH) 15:17

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - BRIAN CAMPBELL 7 (NATHAN PAETSCH, DAINIUS ZUBRUS) 9:50

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 27 (MIKE VAN RYN, STEPHEN WEISS) 2:45

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 3 3
    FLORIDA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 18 (MARTIN GELINAS, JAY BOUWMEESTER)
    13:16
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 29 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 0:32
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (STEPHEN WEISS, MARTIN GELINAS) 2:49
    BUF - DAIN

    Mar 15 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 7 (BRIAN CAMPBELL, THOMAS VANEK) 12:42

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - DAINIUS ZUBRUS 22 (HENRIK TALLINDER, DEREK ROY) 9:35

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 8:52 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (STEPHEN WEISS, MARTIN GELINAS) 2:49

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - JASON POMINVILLE 29 (JOCHEN HECHT, DANIEL BRIERE) 0:32

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 18 (MARTIN GELINAS, JAY BOUWMEESTER)
    13:16
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 5 5
    FLA 15 15
    GOALIES: BUF - TY CONKLI

    Mar 15 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - STEPHEN WEISS 18 (MARTIN GELINAS, JAY BOUWMEESTER)
    13:16

    Sabres vs. PanthersMar 15 8:04 PM