The Sabres just finished a three game homestand with zero points, losing to the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 last Thursday, 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, and 5-2 to the Bruins on Wednesday. They'll face the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night before heading back to Buffalo for a tilt against the Dallas Stars on Monday. Aside from a four goal outburst in their only victory (a 4-3 shootout affair against the New York Islanders on October 15th), they've scored 11 goals in 10 games.
A Look Back
The last time the Panthers squared up against the Sabres, it was the 9-19-6 Florida squad hosting the 13-16-4 Buffalo club this past March 28th. For the Panthers, Shawn Matthias scored twice, while Tomas Fleischmann and Jonathan Huberdeau also lit the lamp. Brian Campbell and the since departed Peter Mueller each earned two assists. After 65 minutes, the game stood deadlocked at four. Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Santorelli earned the second point by beating Ryan Miller, who had saved 36-of-40 shots. Jacob Markstrom also made 36 saves for the win.
Jonathan Huberdeau listened to some advice from an injured teammate, and it paid immediate dividends.
The Florida Panthers' rookie sensation snapped a nine-game goal drought with a game-tying power-play tally with 6:09 left in regulation, then scored in the shootout as his team rallied to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 on Thursday night at BB&T Center.
Huberdeau's goal was his 13th of the season, tops among NHL rookies.
"I was watching a little bit the stats, but now I decided I'm going to stop watching that," Huberdeau said. "It can go in your head. [Kris] Versteeg told me, just don't watch the stats and it's going to go well. I stopped actually three nights ago and now it went well. So now I've got to stop watching." * Full Recap * Box Score
Sabres/Panthers - Full Shootouts 3/28/13 (via NHLShootouts2013)
GameTime: 7:30 PM ET, FS-FLA, WQAM, LBC GameThread at 7:00
All-Time Record: Florida is 28-37-4-6 all-time against Buffalo, a .440 success rate. Florida has a much more palatable 5-3-3 record against the Sabres over the last three seasons.
Season Series: First of four
-6-1, .350, 7 points, on pace for 57 points. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 24th in the NHL. Last five: L-L-L-W-O.
.136, 3 points, on pace for 22 points. Eighth in the Atlantic Division,16th in the Eastern Conference, 30th in the NHL. Last five: L-W-L-L-L.
Panthers D Brian Campbell played his first eight seasons with the Sabres. In 391 games, he totaled 32 goals, 144 assists, a minus-7 rating and 113 PIM.
D Mike Weaver will play in Panthers game number 202, moving him into a tie for 40th with Bret Hedican. Shawn Matthias will move into sole possession of 26th, passing Niklas Hagman with his 264th game played.
Matthias has 44 assists, tied with Jody Hull,, and Ivan Novoseltsev in 46th. Fleischmann and each have 64 assists, If either of them get their 65th, they will tie captain . currently has 73 assists, in 21st place, and will move into the top 20 all-time with one more, tying Johan Garpenlov.
Former Panther C Rob Globke (46 games, one goal, one assist), turned 31 yesterday. Calgary G Miikka Kiprusoff turns 36 tomorrow.
Probable Starting Lineups
- Nick Bjugstad - Jonathan Huberdeau - Brad Boyes
- Tomas Fleischmann - Aleksander Barkov - Kris Versteeg
- Shawn Matthias - Marcel Goc -Tomas Kopecky
- Sean Bergenheim - Scott Gomez - Jesse Winchester
- Thomas Vanek - Cody Hodgson - Drew Stafford
- Marcus Foligno - Tyler Ennis - Steve Ott
- Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Brian Flynn
- John Scott - Mikhail Grigorenko - Kevin Porter
- Ryan Miller - Jhonas Enroth
Brad Boyes - 4, Marcel Goc, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau -3
Tomas Fleischmann - 7, Brian Campbell - 5, Aleksander Barkov - 4
Tomas Fleischmann - 9, Aleksander Barkov - 7, Brad Boyes - 6
Nick Bjugstad - 53.8% (21-for-39), Marcel Goc - 50.0% (92-for-181), Jesse Winchester - 48.5% (16-for-33)
Shots on Goal
Tomas Fleischmann - 32, Kris Versteeg - 26, Brad Boyes - 22
Erik Gudbranson - 30, Dmitry Kulikov - 27, Jesse Winchester - 16
Mike Weaver - 29, Erik Gudbranson - 24, Dmitry Kulikov - 16
Mike Weaver - 28, Erik Gudbranson - 22, Tom Gilbert - 17
For a Buffalo scented whiff of the festivities, check out Die By The Blade. The LBC GameThread goes live at 7 PM.