for this game

Panthers host Sabres aiming for first win

Oct 17, 2014 - 2:59 PM ( - The Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers had the NHL's two worst records last season, and neither club has done much to change that perception so far in 2014-15.

On Friday, the winless Panthers hope for a victory when they visit the Sabres for a clash at First Niagara Center.

Buffalo easily had the worst record in the NHL last season, gaining only 52 points in the standings. The Panthers were the next worse club with 66 points, but Florida will be the only team looking for its first win of the season on Friday.

Florida is 0-2-1 on the season and has managed a total of three goals so far. The Panthers were shut out in their most recent trip to the ice, losing Monday's home test against Ottawa by a 1-0 score.

Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo made 22 saves in Monday's setback. The veteran netminder has started all three games for Florida so far, but could receive a rest from backup Al Montoya this weekend with the Panthers following up tonight's game with Saturday's test at Washington.

The only goal surrendered by Luongo in Monday's loss came when Clarke MacArthur scored on the power play late in the second period. Florida has been dreadful at killing penalties in the early going, yielding six power-play goals on 17 attempts.

This evening's tilt kicks off a four-game road trip for Florida, which was 13-25-3 as the guest last season. Following tomorrow's visit to Washington, the Panthers will head west to face Colorado and Arizona.

The Sabres were outscored by a combined 14-4 margin in losing their first three games of the season before posting a shootout win Tuesday in Carolina.

After Buffalo's Matt Moulson and Carolina's Chris Terry were successful on tries early in the shootout, 12 straight shots were either turned away or off the mark before Zemgus Girgensons delivered the game-winner.

Girgensons beat Cam Ward with a backhand in the eighth round of the shootout to give the Sabres a 4-3 decision over the Hurricanes.

"This game was about finding something deep down inside the heart, a will to win," said Girgensons.

Marcus Foligno tallied twice in regulation for Buffalo. Torrey Mitchell also scored for the Sabres, who received 22 saves from Jhonas Enroth.

Florida hopes to ride its recent success in this series to its first win of 2014-15. The Panthers have won three straight, four of five and six of the last eight encounters with the Sabres and also have claimed three straight victories in Buffalo.