Tyler Myers had no idea he was running out of time.
Myers blasted a slap shot from above the top of the right circle past Tomas Vokoun with 5 seconds left in overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory at Florida on Thursday.
"I just happened to notice that a couple of their forwards got caught down low and the puck came to me," he said after scoring his seventh of the season. "I just decided to go with it. I didn't even realize there was 5 seconds left when I took the shot."
In the second period, Myers had a shot ring off the crossbar that would have given the Sabres a 2-0 lead. It was reviewed and the officials ruled that the puck didn't cross the goal line.
There was no doubt about Myers' game-winner.
"They didn't give us a lot of quality chances and I thought it would probably take a heck of a shot for us to win the hockey game," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You might look at it as a lucky shot, but it was the same spot (Myers) shot it in the second (period), maybe a little lower."
Mike Weber and Thomas Vanek also scored for the Sabres, who had lost their two previous games against the Panthers this season. Ryan Miller made 24 saves as the Sabres won for the eighth time in 11 games and closed within two points of eighth-place Carolina.
"We kept our composure and got (the game) into extra time and we just said 'let's go for it,"' Vanek said. "It was just a great shot by Myers."
Steve Bernier and Marty Reasoner scored for Florida, which has lost five straight home games. Vokoun stopped 24 shots.
Vanek scored at 8:59 of the third, giving Buffalo a 2-1 lead with his seventh goal in 11 games. Jason Pominville passed the puck from behind the goal line to the front of the net, where Vanek poked it past Vokoun.
The lead lasted just 64 seconds. Reasoner took a pass from Dennis Wideman and his wrist shot beat Miller on the stick side for a 2-2 tie.
The Sabres took a 1-0 lead on Weber's goal at 10:22 of the second. The Sabres won the faceoff at the right circle and the puck came back to Weber at the right point. His slap shot through traffic hit a defenseman's skate and went past Vokoun.
The Panthers tied it 1-1 on Bernier's power-play goal with 1:22 left in the second period. Jason Garrison took a shot from the point that went through traffic and was deflected by Bernier into the back of the net.
"We found a way to lose that point again," Bernier said. "It's frustrating but the last thing we want to do is to put our heads down. When you win, you get confident and go up in the standings."
Material from wire services was used in this report
|Mike Weber (3) ASST: Jason Pominville (18), Jochen Hecht (13)|
1 - 0 BUF
|PPG - Steve Bernier (5) ASST: Jason Garrison (6), Dennis Wideman (20)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Thomas Vanek (22) ASST: Jason Pominville (19), Tyler Myers (17)|
2 - 1 BUF
|Marty Reasoner (11) ASST: Dennis Wideman (21)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Tyler Myers (7) ASST: Nathan Gerbe (9)|
3 - 2 BUF
|Scott Timmins Tripping against Tyler Myers|
|Cody McCormick Fighting (maj) against Darcy Hordichuk|
|Darcy Hordichuk Fighting (maj) against Cody McCormick|
|Nathan Gerbe Slashing against Chris Higgins|
|Bryan Allen Hooking against Thomas Vanek|