The Panthers started their attack quick, finding the back of the net at the 3:28 mark of the first period. Miller let up a hefty rebound near Tyler Myers, who decided to go for the puck instead of taking the body. Matthias was left untouched in front and was able to grab the game’s first goal.
The Sabres turned up their offensive play after a lacadaisical start, with Sekera jumping up on the break-in. Trying to give his team a spark, Reggie came close to tying the game up after a rebound popped out to him in front, but he wasn’t able to capitalize.
After dominating on a first period powerplay but failing to find the back of the net, Thomas Fleischman made Ville Leino pay for taking an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by scoring an early second period powerplay goal. Leino was benched for the rest of the second, and ended the game with under seven minutes of ice time.
Within a minute, the Sabres kept the game within reach by scoring a goal of their own. Nathan Gerbe took a slapshot from the top of the circle, which tipped off a Florida defenseman’s stick and got past Markstrom.
Andrej Sekera’s hard work finally paid off late in the second as his bullet from the point got through to tie the game up at 2 a piece. The puck somehow managed to settle after bouncing around while Florida tried to clear the zone.
At 19:04 in the second, Drew Stafford tipped in another shot from that came from the point, this time from the stick of Christian Erhoff. The late swing put the Sabres up 3-2 heading into the third.
Matthias scored his second of the night and tied the game up after a giveaway by Porter. Mueller out-battled Porter, took the shot, and the rebound went right to the stick of Matthias.
The Buffalo D continued to get on the scoresheet as Foligno tipped Leopold’s shot in on the powerplay about midway through the third.
With about six minutes remaining in regulation, Peter Mueller found an open passing lane to Jonathan Huberdeau in front of Miller, who tied the game up for a third time and sending the game into overtime.
Pominville started the shootout with a five-hole goal on Markstrom, followed by a quick leg save by Miller on Mueller.
After Markstrom stopped Ennis’ shot, Huberdeau scored after the butt-end of Miller’s stick pushed the puck about half an inch over the goalline.
After a few more saves, the final dagger came from Santorelli, who beat Miller’s poke-check and put the final shootout goal in.
After the game, Rolston spoke about Leino’s unsportsmanlike conduct.
“Whether you’re a veteran or a rookie, it’s about being a team, so he didn’t play the rest of the night.”
On the missed powerplay assignment that lead to a goal.
“It’s something different every day.”
Rolston’s disappointment with the team was obvious. They’ll have to regroup and figure things out in order to catch up in the standings. His positive remark on the game was about Drew Stafford. After being put in the lineup again, his feet were moving and he found a way to score his 5th goal of the season, and was a goalie’s shoulder pad away from getting the game-winner.
Florida finishes the season series with two wins out of three games after tonight. The Sabres ultimately gained on the 8th place NY Rangers, and are now trailing by 4 points.