Credit: Robert Mayer -- USA Today Sports Images

Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. Florida Panthers

The Buffalo Sabres are set to face off against the Florida Panthers four times this upcoming NHL season. Florida has made several acquisitions via free agency that may be factors in the team’s play against Buffalo in the 2013-2014 NHL season.

The Panthers and the Buffalo Sabres will face each other four times this season, twice in each city. This comes after the teams met three times in last year’s lockout-shortened season; Florida is now joining Buffalo in the new Atlantic division as a result of the league’s realignment.

Last year, the Panthers won two of the three meetings, including one shootout victory. Buffalo’s victory also came in a shootout.

The Panthers took the first game, a 4-3 regulation win on February 3 in Buffalo. Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson had a goal and two assists each, but it simply wasn’t enough. Former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell scored the winning goal with the man advantage in the third period.

Buffalo would win the next meeting, a 4-3 shootout victory. Nathan Gerbe had a pair of goals, while Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist in the win. Ryan Miller stopped 40 of 43 shots faced in regulation.

The season series would end with a 5-4 shootout victory for the Panthers on March 28. Nathan Gerbe, Andrej Sekera, Drew Stafford and Marcus Foligno scored in regulation, but the Panthers rallied in the third to take it to a shootout.

Left winger Tomas Fleischmann led the Panthers with 35 points in 48 games last season, while Jonathan Huberdeau had 14 goals and 17 assists. Tomas Kopecky led the team with 15 goals.

Through free agency this offseason, the Panthers added Steve Pinizzotto, Scott Gomez, Matt Gilroy, Mike Mottau and Joey Crabb and lost Stephen Weiss. The team also traded away tough guy George Parros, acquiring Phillipe Lefevbre, and traded former Sabres defenseman TJ Brennan to Nashville in exchange for Bobby Butler, who is a -7 in seven career games against Buffalo.

Players to Watch:

  • FLORIDA: Watch out for former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell, who has six points in nine career games against Buffalo. (And isn’t that how it usually goes? The former player always comes back to crush his former team.) Center Jonathan Huberdeau has three points (1-2) in three career games against Buffalo. Peter Mueller has six points in eight career games versus the Sabres, and Tomas Fleischmann has 10 points in 21 games against the Buffalo Sabres in his NHL career.
  • BUFFALO: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers has 12 points (2-10) in 13 career games against the Florida Panthers. Center Cody Hodgson has three points in five games, and winger Thomas Vanek has scored 25 points against Florida in 29 career games played versus the team.

Meetings This Season:

  • October 25 @ FLA
  • January 9 @ BUF
  • January 21 @ BUF
  • March 7 @ FLA

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers

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