for this game

Lalime, Spacek send Sabres past Panthers

Mar 13, 2009 - 2:47 AM
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- Despite a big win over a team which the Buffalo Sabres are battling with in the Eastern Conference playoff race, Thomas Vanek knows there are plenty of games left before the final postseason seedings are decided.

"There's still lots of points out there," Vanek said after the Sabres' 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. "We just need to get more of them."

Buffalo is 10th in the Eastern Conference, two points behind ninth-place Florida and three behind Carolina and the New York Rangers.

"It was the biggest game of the year," captain Craig Rivet said. "We needed this game to get us back in it. We still have a ways to go, but we're going to keep pushing."

Patrick Lalime made 30 saves in his eighth straight start, and improved to 3-4-1 since taking over for injured starter Ryan Miller.

Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist, and Daniel Paille also scored for the Sabres, who won their third straight at home and snapped a two-game overall losing streak.

The Sabres helped preserve the much-needed win by killing off a two-man Florida advantage for 67 seconds midway through the third period. Buffalo allowed just one shot to get through to Lalime, and blocked three others.

"That gave us an extra boost for the final seven or eight minutes," Vanek said. "It was a huge kill for us."

And doubly disappointing for the Panthers.

"You know you're not going to have a better chance than that," Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said. "But there was still time left."

But the Sabres didn't budge, playing a much tighter third period than they did in their last two losses when they were outscored by a 7-2 margin by Ottawa and Philadelphia.

"We were committed to playing strong in our own end," Lalime said. "We were chipping the puck out and making them skate back for it."

Rookie Michal Repik scored for Florida, and Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves. The Panthers have lost two straight after winning three of four.

"It's crucial points, especially against a team like Buffalo," Panthers right wing Radek Dvorak said. "Every time you lose a game like this, it's bad for us."

The game marked Richard Zednik's return to Buffalo, where he nearly bled to death 13 months ago after severing the carotid artery when he was cut by former teammate Olli Jokinen's skate.

"I thought about it for one second, what happened last year," he said. "Then it was like any other game."

Spacek opened the scoring with his eighth goal just three minutes into the game when his wrist shot from the top of the right circle eluded Vokoun.

Repik tied it at 1 with his second at 9:36 before Paille restored Buffalo's lead with a wrist shot from the left circle that deflected off Florida defenseman Nick Boynton's stick late in the period.

Vanek capped the scoring on the power play with his team-leading 34th goal with 2:52 left in regulation. It was his second goal since returning from a broken jaw five games ago.






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    Panthers 1, Sabres 3  FinalMar 13 5:52 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 0 0 1
    BUFFALO 2 0 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JAROSLAV SPACEK 8 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY)
    3:04
    FLA - MICHAL REPIK 2 (DAVID BOOTH) 9:36
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 8 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 17:05
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 34 (DE

    Mar 12 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 34 (DEREK ROY) 17:08

    Panthers 1, Sabres 3  3rd - 2:52Mar 12 9:26 PM
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    Panthers 1, Sabres 3  3rd - 2:52Mar 12 9:26 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 50 roots (Close Finish)

    Panthers 1, Sabres 2  3rd - 3:20Mar 12 9:25 PM
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    Panthers 1, Sabres 2  3rd - 12:10Mar 12 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 0 1
    BUFFALO 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JAROSLAV SPACEK 8 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY)
    3:04
    FLA - MICHAL REPIK 2 (DAVID BOOTH) 9:36
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 8 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 17:05
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Mar 12 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1
    BUFFALO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - JAROSLAV SPACEK 8 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY)
    3:04
    FLA - MICHAL REPIK 2 (DAVID BOOTH) 9:36
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 8 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 17:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOT

    Mar 12 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BUFFALO 2
    1ST PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 8 (JAROSLAV SPACEK, ANDREJ SEKERA) 17:05

    Panthers 1, Sabres 2  1st - 2:55Mar 12 7:39 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - MICHAL REPIK 2 (DAVID BOOTH) 9:36

    Panthers 1, Sabres 1  1st - 10:24Mar 12 7:32 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 0
    BUFFALO 1
    1ST PRD: BUF - JAROSLAV SPACEK 8 (JASON POMINVILLE, TIM CONNOLLY) 3:04

    Panthers 0, Sabres 1  1st - 16:56Mar 12 7:14 PM
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    Panthers vs. SabresMar 12 12:50 AM