BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Florida Panthers picked up their second win in as many games to open the season on Saturday, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.
Matthew Tkachuk again starred for Florida, picking up a pair of points while also applying the sandpaper element the team was hoping for when acquiring him over the summer.
Tkachuk’s assist came on the eventual game-winning goal, a power play tally by defenseman Brandon Montour during the second period.
The Sabres were constantly focused on Tkachuk. Several post-whistle scrums broke out throughout the game with Tkachuk right in the middle of things.
The 24-year-old now has two goals and an assist in his first two games as a member of the Panthers.
Florida also got goals from Aaron Ekblad and Colin White, with the former coming on the power play.
When all was said and done, the Panthers came away with a pair of power play goals while going a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
“The penalty kill and power play were the defining pieces of our win today,” Florida head coach Paul Maurice said after the game.
In goal, Spencer Knight got the nod and picked up his first victory of the season. He made 24 saves.
Knight also came away with the highlight of the day; a sparkling glove save that kept Florida ahead early in the second period, robbing Jeff Skinner of what would normally be a sure tally.
While the glove snipe had most people oohing and aahing, Knight said after the game that it was “just another save.”
Spencer Knight said he went into “desperation mode” on this, but at the end of the day it’s “just another save.” pic.twitter.com/xgwawQOtBN— David Dwork (@DavidDwork) October 15, 2022
“That was a good team win,” Knight said.
Panthers captain Sasha Barkov picked up a pair of assists in the win, his first two of the season.
Both of Barkov’s helpers came on the power play, and he mentioned special teams while speaking after the game.
“We need to get those to an elite level to have success,” he said of the Panthers power play and penalty kill.
Florida will conclude its season-opening road trip Monday night in Boston.