The Cats lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season after dropping the first half of an unfriendly back-to-back to the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh less than 24 hours earlier.
Noel Acciari and Brett Connolly scored the Panthers goals and backup Samuel Montembeault finished with 20 saves on 25 shots in rare start in place of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Acciari’s fifth of the season came midway through the second period after Jack Eichel had put the Sabres up by three earlier in the frame.
Connolly’s power-play goal, assisted by Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trocheck, cut the deficit down to 4-2 early in the third, but Girgensons restored Buffalo’s three-goal with his second goal of the night with 6:35 remaining in regulation.
In addition to bagging his 14th of the season, Eichel picked up assists on Jeff Skinner’s game-opening goal and also drew a helper on Victor Oloffson’s late second period marker.
Florida’s top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov were held without a point for the second straight game and finished an ugly combined -8.
The Cats get a couple days to lick their wounds before the face the Washington Capitals in D.C. on Wednesday. That’s not the team you want to see when you a riding a losing streak. Florida will have to play a lot better than they did this weekend to earn a win over one of the league’s best.
Swords & Tequila
- The Sabres won in Sunrise for the first time since November 12, 2015, ending an 0-5-2 skid.
- Mike Hoffman tested Linus Ullmark six times to lead all shooters, but failed to dent twine.
- Sunday’s game was the first time the Panthers scored fewer than three goals since a 2-1 loss to the New York Islanders on November 9.
- Rasmus Dahlin (2), Conor Sheary, Brandon Montour, Zach Bogosian,Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey picked up assists for Buffalo.
- Keith Yandle played his 821st consecutive game after missing part of Saturday night’s game. Riley Stillman was recalled from Springfield in case Yandle couldn’t go.
- For more on the Sabres second win over the Cats this season, hit up Die By The Blade.