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game recap

Panthers end six-game losing streak

James Reimer makes 30 saves, Jonathan Huberdeau scores twice to shut out Sabres

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- James Reimer made 30 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice when the Florida Panthers ended a six-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at BB&T Center on Saturday.

The shutout in Florida's last home game was Reimer's second of the season. His first came in a 7-0 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on March 25.

"We lost six in a row and it was just nice to get something to the fans," Huberdeau said. "It was nice to see a lot of people in the stands tonight for our last game and we wanted to show them that we're going to have a good summer and we're ready to go next year."

 

WATCH: All Sabres vs. Panthers highlights

 

Florida (34-36-11) moved one point ahead of the Sabres for sixth place in the Atlantic Division. Each team has been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention.

Nick Bjugstad also scored for the Panthers, who won for the sixth time in 20 games (6-13-1). Jaromir Jagr had two assists. The six-game losing streak was Florida's longest since early in the 2013-14 season.

Robin Lehner made 34 saves for Buffalo (33-36-12), which has lost four of its past five games.

Video: Reimer earns Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Panthers forward Shawn Thornton served as an alternate captain for what was expected to be his final NHL game. He was honored with a video tribute in the third period and was named first star of the game.

"Being [Thornton's] last game, we wanted to play hard, get a win for his last game," Huberdeau said. "We played pretty good. I think it was good for us and for our confidence."

Bjugstad made it 1-0 at 7:45 of the second period after taking a pass from Thomas Vanek in the left circle. After making a quick move to his backhand, Bjugstad moved the puck to his forehand before releasing a quick shot that beat Lehner on the short side.

Huberdeau made it 2-0 at 17:03 when he scored on the power play.

Huberdeau's second goal made it 3-0 at 5:55 of the third period. He scored when his backhand pass from behind the net bounced in off the skate of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

Video: BUF@FLA: Huberdeau's pass deflects off a skate and in

 

Goal of the game

Huberdeau got behind Lehner after the goalie stopped Jagr's shot and managed to backhand it in while falling into the net. The puck crossed the goal line before the net came off its moorings.

Video: BUF@FLA: Huberdeau finishes PPG from inside the net

 

Save of the game

Reimer quickly moved his right pad to stop Matt Moulson's shot off a rebound in the third period.

 

Highlight of the game

Huberdeau almost had a goal in the first period after he stripped the puck from Jack Eichel inside the Florida blue line and came in on a breakaway. Huberdeau got Lehner out of position with a backhand-to-forehand deke, but the goalie was able to get his skate on the shot. The puck stopped just short of the goal line before defenseman Josh Gorges cleared it.

Video: BUF@FLA: Lehner makes unreal pad stop on Huberdeau

 

Unsung performance of the game

Buffalo forward Evander Kane had a breakaway in the first period, but Vanek never gave up on the backcheck and lifted his stick to prevent a shot on goal.

 

They said it

"It was important to get the two points to leave on a good note for the last home game, plus with Shawn retiring." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe

 

"God, I wanted a goal. I had a couple of chances tonight. I really wanted to score. The guys were on the bench yelling for my name every time we had a power play. Guys were saying, 'Get back door, go here, go there, we're just going to give you the puck.' Unfortunately, the hockey gods weren't with me in that regard, but still had an awesome time out there. Had a lot of fun in my last game." -- Panthers forward Shawn Thornton

 

Video: BUF@FLA: Cats fans honor Thornton in final home game

 

"I'd say the first few shifts were just getting used to the pace and everything. I got used to it as the game went on and started to play a little bit more. I was happy to be out there for sure." -- Sabres forward Sean Malone on his NHL debut

 

Need to know

Malone's debut came two nights after he played for Notre Dame in the NCAA Frozen Four in Chicago. … Panthers forward Michael Sgarbossa left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Panthers: At the Washington Capitals on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, FS-F, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Reimer, Panthers shut out the Sabres, 3-0

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