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game recap

Ullmark makes 43 saves, Sabres defeat Panthers to end skid at three

Girgensons scores twice, Eichel has three points for Buffalo

by @NHLdotcom

Eichel scores after nifty move

BUF@FLA: Eichel dekes defender, buries wrister

Jack Eichel makes a slick move to get around a defender before ripping a wrist shot past Sam Montembeault

  • 00:43 •

Linus Ullmark made 43 saves in a 5-2 win for the Buffalo Sabres against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Sunday.

Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists and Zemgus Girgensons scored two goals for Buffalo (11-9-3), which ended a three-game losing streak.

Ullmark saved 16 of 17 shots in the third period.


[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Panthers highlights]


"He's been doing it all year for us," Eichel said of the Sabres goalie. "Timely saves like that are so important. He's the backbone, him and [Carter Hutton], of this team. They play like that, they give us a chance to win every night. There's a lot of confidence in the group in front of them.

"It was awesome to see him. I thought he did a great job coming out, playing the puck. I thought he controlled the game well and he allowed us to kind of find our game."

Video: BUF@FLA: Girgensons pots own rebound for second goal

Noel Acciari and Brett Connolly scored for Florida (12-7-5), which lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season. Sam Montembeault made 21 saves.

"Obviously we had our chances, but it's not good enough," Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. "We've got to play better. [Buffalo] didn't get that many shots, but they got a lot of good chances to score and they got a lot of 2-on-1s and breakaways. [We] left [Montembeault] by himself in the net. We just have to clean those [up] and play a lot better."

Jeff Skinner gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead when Eichel banked a shot from the bottom of the circle off Skinner's skate and into the net at 16:24 of the first period.

Video: BUF@FLA: Skinner redirects home Eichel's feed

Girgensons made it 2-0 when his quick shot from the left circle hit Mark Pysyk's stick at 18:23.

Eichel scored at 3:42 of the second when he worked his way around Brian Boyle and beat Montembeault top corner, blocker side to give Buffalo a 3-0 lead.

Acciari capitalized after the Sabres were called for icing when a loose puck found its way to him below the hash marks to cut it to 3-1 at 9:29.

Victor Olofsson made it 4-1 at 14:41 with a quick shot from the left side off the rush.

Video: BUF@FLA: Olofsson beats Montembeault on partial break

"I think tonight's game is one of those games where you think you might be playing OK, but whether you're outshooting or out-chancing them and out-possessing them but you're still behind for reasons," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've been playing with that danger all year long of giving up goals that don't even look like there is a chance it ends up in our net and all of a sudden you're down a goal, down two goals. We've got to make them earn them."

Connolly scored from the top of the left circle on the power play to make it 4-2 at 3:08 of the third period.

Girgensons pushed his own rebound past Montembeault at the side of the net at 13:25 for the 5-2 final.

"That's what we need, we need other lines scoring," Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. "I thought we had a real strong training day of practice [Saturday]. We had multiple meetings since the Boston game (a 3-2 loss on Thursday), and I never felt anybody lose spirit or lose confidence in what we're doing here. That's one of the reasons the group was able to step up today."

Video: BUF@FLA: Connolly one-times Ekblad's feed for PPG


They said it

"It was good to see us put a full 60 [minutes] in. That's a really good team over there and obviously they can score with the best of them, so it was nice to that we got a lead and were able to play with it. I thought we did a good job of trying to find a way to get that next goal." -- Sabres captain Jack Eichel

"We've been scoring a lot of goals, so I think it was only a matter of time before we hit a little bit a rut in the season. It's not going to be perfect every night. We've been getting tested a little bit the last couple of games, but it's a solid group in here." -- Panthers forward Brett Connolly


Need to know

Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle played in his 821st consecutive game after sustaining a mouth injury in a 4-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. He has not missed a game since March 22, 2009 when he was with the Phoenix Coyotes. ... Buffalo won at Florida for the first time since Nov. 12, 2015, ending an 0-5-2 stretch. … Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues left with an undisclosed injury after playing one shift in the first period. Krueger said he will not play against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. … Eichel has had a point streak of at least five or more games in each season since his NHL debut in 2015-16. … All nine of Skinner's goals have been scored 5-on-5. … It was the first time the Panthers scored fewer than three goals since Nov. 9 (2-1 loss at the New York Islanders).


What's next

Sabres: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

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

Video: Girgensons, Eichel lead Sabres past Panthers, 5-2

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