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game recap

Sabres 5, Panthers 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 5, Panthers 2
Buffalo Sabres 5, Florida Panthers 2

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -The Buffalo Sabres needed only about 5 minutes to beat the struggling Florida Panthers on Wednesday night.

Mike Grier, Jason Pominville and Matt Ellis each scored early in the opening period to lift the Sabres to a 5-2 win over Florida.

Tyler Myers and Thomas Vanek also scored in the first for the Sabres (5-1-1), who opened a three-game road trip. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who hasn't lost in regulation this season, stopped 41 shots. Miller had the night off Saturday when Buffalo lost 4-2 to Atlanta.

"I was very impressed with the start," Miller said. "I think that everyone in the room recongized that our last home start wasn't what we wanted. We wanted to definitely come back and prove that we could bring our game together and not lose two in a row. That's going to be important over the course of a season."

Steve Reinprecht and Rostislav Olesz had goals for the Panthers (2-5-0).

Scott Clemmensen, who helped Florida snap a four-game skid with a win over Philadelphia last Friday, made his second straight start in goal for Florida, but didn't last long this time. He was replaced by Tomas Vokoun after giving up two goals on three shots in less than 2 minutes. Vokoun finished with 30 saves.

"That's the fastest I've ever been pulled," Clemmensen said. "It is what it is. I'm not going to let it bother me. I know when I let in good goals, bad goals, when my angle is off, those sorts of things. I'm old enough, I think I've got the right philosophy. There's not much you can do about it."

As it turns out, it was the fastest any Florida goalie has ever been pulled from a start in franchise history. Clemmensen's early departure at 1:56 in the first period beat a mark set by former Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo, who left a 2001 game after just 3:47 in the first because of an injury, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"We needed a spark," Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said of the decision to pull Clemmensen. "It wasn't because of the play of the goaltender. We weren't ready to play. I tried to shock them into getting themselves back in the game. Sometimes those things work, sometimes they don't and obviously it didn't tonight."

Grier beat Clemmensen 1:11 into the first for his second goal of the season. Then, with Kamil Kreps in the penalty box for hooking, Pominville got a power-play goal just 45 seconds later to put the Sabres up 2-0 and chase Clemmensen.

"They were good goals," Clemmensen said. "On the first the guy is in all alone. On the scoreboard I saw three shots against. I didn't see the other two. The one save I made I didn't see it. On the second goal, I didn't even know where the puck was, let alone who shot it or what happened. I can't stop what I don't see. I don't think I let in two bad goals, they were two good goals."

Buffalo went up 3-0 at 4:37 in the first on Ellis' goal and Myers scored on a shot from the blue line at 10:20 in the opening period to give the Sabres a commanding four-goal lead.

With 5:49 left in the first, Reinprecht recorded Florida's lone goal of the period. An apparent goal by Reinprecht in the third period was disallowed because it was determined that the puck was knocked in with his hand.

"Whatever goals they score, we've got to bounce back," Florida left wing David Booth said. "We had chance to get back in the game, even down 3-0 and 4-1. We've got to do that if we expect to get back into games."

Buffalo scored again with 3:12 left in the opening period, when Vokoun landed on his back and slid into the net during a scuffle in front of the Panthers' goal. Vanek, who missed Buffalo's last two games with an upper-body injury, knocked the puck into the net to make it 5-1.

"There was no question on the work ethic in the game. I think we worked throughout the game," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We didn't make a lot of good decisions at times, but I thought our work ethic was really good."

Olesz scored a power-play goal with 2:13 left in the third to make it 5-2.

NOTES: Buffalo went 3-1-0 against Florida last season. ... The Sabres face the Panthers three more times this season. The two teams next meet Nov. 18 in Buffalo. ... Buffalo LW Clarke MacArthur suffered from flulike symptoms earlier in the week and wore a surgical mask on the team's flight to South Florida, but was in Buffalo's starting lineup Wednesday.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:11
BUF
Michael Grier (2) ASST: Tim Kennedy (2), Jochen Hecht (1)
1 - 0 BUF
01:56
BUF
PPG - Jason Pominville (2) ASST: Tim Connolly (4), Chris Butler (3)
2 - 0 BUF
04:37
BUF
Matt Ellis (1) ASST: Patrick Kaleta (2), Henrik Tallinder (2)
3 - 0 BUF
10:20
BUF
Tyler Myers (2) ASST: Henrik Tallinder (3), Derek Roy (6)
4 - 0 BUF
14:11
FLA
Steve Reinprecht (2) ASST: Michael Frolik (3), Rostislav Olesz (2)
4 - 1 BUF
16:48
BUF
Thomas Vanek (4) ASST: Drew Stafford (2), Steve Montador (1)
5 - 1 BUF
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
17:47
FLA
PPG - Rostislav Olesz (2) ASST: David Booth (1), Ville Koistinen (2)
5 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
01:27
FLA
Kamil Kreps  Hooking against  Patrick Kaleta
06:33
BUF
Steve Montador  Interference against  Steve Reinprecht
07:31
BUF
Henrik Tallinder  Hooking against  David Booth
14:22
BUF
Tim Kennedy  Interference against  Rostislav Olesz
17:38
BUF
Jason Pominville  Tripping against  Bryan McCabe
2nd Period
07:05
BUF
Henrik Tallinder  Hooking against  Michael Frolik
11:19
FLA
Dmitry Kulikov  Interference against  Tim Connolly
13:29
FLA
Jordan Leopold  Delaying Game - Puck over glass
3rd Period
12:59
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Unsportsmanlike conduct
12:59
FLA
Nathan Horton  Unsportsmanlike conduct
15:05
FLA
Nathan Horton  Roughing against  Clarke MacArthur
15:05
FLA
Nathan Horton  Roughing against  Clarke MacArthur
15:05
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Nathan Horton
15:05
FLA
Nathan Horton  Misconduct
15:19
BUF
Clarke MacArthur  Interference against  Dominic Moore
15:19
BUF
Clarke MacArthur  Unsportsmanlike conduct
15:19
BUF
Clarke MacArthur  Misconduct
goalie stats
Ryan Miller
SA: 43TOI: 60:00
Saves: 41EV: 29 - 30
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 11
SV%: .953SH: 2 - 2
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 33TOI: 57:52
Saves: 30EV: 26 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .909SH: 0 - 0
Scott Clemmensen
SA: 3TOI: 1:56
Saves: 1EV: 0 - 1
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .333SH: 0 - 0