ReCat: Panthers 7, Sabres 4
Six different Panthers earn multiple points on the scoresheet as the Panthers dispatch the Sabres, 7-4 in Buffalo on Tuesday night.
The Panthers scored the first four goals and hung on to defeat the Sabres, 7-4 on Tuesday night in Buffalo.
Reilly Smith (17, 18) had two goals and an assist and Jussi Jokinen (11) had a goal and two helpers to lead the Panthers, who earned their 69th and 70th points of the season and are now 16 games above .500. Florida is only the fourth team to reach 70 points this season, and they now sit a single point behind the Dallas Stars in the NHL's overall standings.
Blueliners Brian Campbell (5) and Alex Petrovic (2) also earned a goal and an assist each. Petro also had a fight (three actually, although he kinda lost each of them) to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick. Vincent Trocheck and Nick Bjugstad both pitched in with a pair of assists. Jaromir Jagr (17) and Brandon Pirri (11) added markers of their own, while Roberto Luongo turned aside 30 shots in the win, his 24th of the season, 166th as a Panther, and his 425th overall.
For the Sabres, Sam Reinhart (15, 16) justified his high draft slot. Evander Kane (13) and Mike Weber (1) completed the scoring for Buffalo. Robin Lehner started the game for the home team, allowing Florida's first four goals on just 12 shots before getting replaced by Chad Johnson. Johnson took the loss despite stopping 20-of-22 shots.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Quinton Howden, and Aaron Ekblad each also had assists for Florida.
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Now, the Panthers are coming home for a six-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues, the Nashville Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the San Jose Sharks, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Arizona Coyotes. The Blues are first, on Friday night at 7:30. In the meantime, keep it here at Litter Box Cats, where Donny, Todd, Francisco, JC and myself will always keep you in the know for all things Panthers!