Panthers frustrate the Sabres as the winning streak is over

Feb 27, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) and left wing Matthew
Feb 27, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett (9) and left wing Matthew / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo was back in action tonight coming off a thrilling shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Sunday's victory was the start of a two-week gauntlet that had the Sabres facing off against all playoff-contending teams during the next two weeks.

To start this week, Buffalo took on the Florida Panthers. If the Sabres wanted to extend their winning streak to four games, they had to do it against one of the best teams in the NHL. The last time Buffalo saw Florida, they got shut out by the Panthers on home ice 12 days ago.

After playing some 4 on 4 hockey, the Sabres were awarded a power play. They took advantage as Dylan Cozens let got an awesome slap shot and the puck ended up in the back of the net to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead.

It didn't last long however as Sam Bennett evened the game up for the Panthers. Just about three minutes later, Florida was awarded a power play. After an unfortunate deflection from Erik Johnson, Matthew Tkachuk gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead.

After three goals were scored in the first 20 minutes, there were no goals scored by either side. However, there was tons of physicality. The Panthers play a physical brand of hockey, and the Sabres felt their wrath. One more note from the second period, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was fantastic as he kept Buffalo down by one heading into the third period.

Florida made it 3-1 in the third period on a power play thanks to Zach Benson taking a tripping penalty and then Don Granato got a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Buffalo wouldn't go away however as Tage Thompson finally cashed in, making it 3-2 Panthers.

The Sabres could not tie it up and their winning streak came to an end. It was a frustrating night, especially with Granato setting up the 5 on 3 for Florida. Luukkonen played well but overall, it was frustrating to watch.

A couple of postgame notes. First, the power play was not good. Even though it converted once, the Sabres had a hard time gaining entry and getting shots. Also, Florida did an excellent job not letting Buffalo get chances to tie it up. Even when the Sabres tried to pull Luukkonen, Florida wasn't having it.

Buffalo will look to rebound Thursday night as they will face the Tampa Bay Lightning.