The Florida Panthers have now visited Buffalo, NY and the First Niagara Center twice this season, and have skated away with a victory both times – they now lead the season series 2-1. The Sabres looked as if they were going to stick around this game and maybe even keep a lead, but like so many times before, they let the game get away from them.
Florida scored three goals in the first period, two of which came in the last two minutes. Veteran Ed Jovanovski led the way for the Panthers, scoring a goal and assisting on Florida’s first goal. Defenseman Tom Gilbert had two assists, and Nick Bjugstad scored what would be the game winning goal for the Panthers, giving him 11 total on the season.
Third Star - Tyler Ennis
Coming into tonight’s game Ennis was on a four game point streak, to which became five tonight. He assisted on Stafford’s second goal in the first period, making a nifty pass that was buried into the back of the net.
Not only did Ennis have an assist tonight, but he was all over the ice and helped boost the Sabres puck possession significantly – most notably on the power play. He also contributed 4 shots on goal, and 1 hit in 23+ minutes on the ice.
Second Star - Steve Ott
Ott, like usual, was inflicting big hits and trying to get under the skin of the Panthers tonight. Late in the third period he scored the third goal of the night for the Sabres and tried to jump-start a comeback, unfortunately it wasn’t coming together for the Sabres tonight though. Ott also assisted on Stafford’s first goal of the game, which gave the Sabres an early lead. Ott’s goal was his 100th NHL goal.
First Star - Drew Stafford
It goes without saying that Stafford was the first star of the game and one of the hardest working Sabres on the ice tonight. He scored two goals tonight, and added an assist on Ott’s goal late in the third period.
You could see some pep in his step after he scored those two first period goals, he was searching for that third goal to complete a hat-trick the rest of the game, but like the Sabres, he fell short. He ended the night with 3 points, 5 shots, 1 hit, and almost 19 minutes of ice time.
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