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Panthers frustrated in Buffalo, lose 3-2 despite late charge

Florida back at it Sunday in Pittsburgh

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju puts the puck past Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju puts the puck past Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist, and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Saturday.

Conor Sheary and Henri Jokiharju also scored for the Sabres in their second straight win. Linus Ullmark made 32 saves.

Florida lost for the second time in three games. Mike Matheson and Evgenii Dadonov scored for the Panthers, and Chris Driedger stopped all 11 shots he faced after replacing Sergei Bobrovsky in the second period.

Dadonov got Florida within one when he scored with an extra attacker on the ice with 1:10 remaining, but Ullmark and the Sabres closed out the win.

Ullmark had a shutout streak of 105:40 before Matheson scored 12:40 into the third.

Reinhart staked the Sabres a 3-0 lead and chased Bobrovsky 5:42 into the second period. It was Buffalo’s first power-play goal in seven games, ending an 0-for-17 skid.

Jokiharju finished a feed from Reinhart to score Buffalo’s first goal 13 minutes into the first period. Marcus Johansson set up Sheary’s goal that made it 2-0 in the early stages of the second.

Buffalo center Jack Eichel went to the dressing room late in the second after getting hit in the face with a stick, but the All-Star was able to return at the start of the third. A high-sticking penalty on Florida’s Josh Brown also forced Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo to briefly leave the game in the second.

The Sabres’ forward group has been depleted by injuries. Victor Olofsson was sidelined with a lower-body injury after he got hurt during Buffalo’s 3-2 overtime win over Edmonton on Thursday. The NHL’s rookie scoring leader is expected to miss between five and six weeks. The Sabres are also without forward Jeff Skinner, who is expected to miss another three weeks with an upper-body injury.

Buffalo added a veteran forward Thursday when it acquired Michael Frolik in a trade with Calgary in exchange for a fourth-round pick that it received in a separate trade sending defenseman Marco Scandella to Montreal. Frolik was not in the lineup Saturday, but he is expected to join the team next week.

NOTES: Florida went scoreless on three power plays after entering the game 9 for 29 over their previous nine games. ... Panthers D MacKenzie Weegar sat out his fifth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Around 30 players from Buffalo’s 1990s teams were honored in a pregame ceremony as part of the Sabres’ 50th anniversary season celebration. Former captain Michael Peca received the loudest cheers when he removed his Sabres sweater to reveal a Buffalo Bills jersey.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Finish four-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Sabres: At St. Louis on Thursday.