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Panthers put away Sabres in 6-2 win

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For the second time in as many games, the Florida Panthers took a quick 3-0 lead. This time, however, the Panthers didn't take their foot off the gas.

Marty Reasoner scored twice in Florida's four-goal first period to lead the Panthers to a 6-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

The Panthers led 3-0 just 5:16 into Wednesday's game against Carolina, but allowed four unanswered goals and saw the Hurricanes leave the BankAtlantic Center with a 4-3 victory.

This time, there was no collapse.

Bryan McCabe scored 1:40 into the game to give the Panthers a quick lead before Reasoner connected twice against Ryan Miller. He took a passout from Evgeny Dadonov, skated into the right circle and fired a shot off the skate of defenseman Steve Montador and past Miller at 8:23 for a 2-0 lead, then one-timed the carom of Jason Garrison's blast off the end boards behind Miller from a sharp angle at 14:08.

"I had been getting some chances that weren't going on, so getting these two gets the confidence going," Reasoner said. "Whenever they pushed us tonight we responded, and it was a big win."

David Booth completed the first-period outburst with a power-play goal at 16:28 as the Sabres were being called for another penalty. He took a backpass from Michael Frolik and deked Miller to his forehand to score his eighth of the season.

"I'm not going to lie to you, of course it did,'' Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said with a smile when asked if he had flashbacks about Wednesday's collapse. "You put on the face for the players you're full of confidence. We handled it much better today.''

The four goals matched Florida's season high for a period this season and were the most given up by Buffalo.

"You can't play that poorly in your own end and hope to come out of it with any type of success," coach Lindy Ruff said. "It was team-wide. We had some guys that skated very poorly in the game. We didn't have the energy we normally have. ... , and it showed up. Our attack and our north-south, we were a step behind."

Frolik made it 5-0 against replacement Patrick Lalime at 18:58 of the second period before Derek Roy spoiled Tomas Vokoun's shutout bid with 19 seconds left in the period.

Stephen Weiss scored a shorthanded goal 13 seconds into the third period for a 6-1 lead before Tim Connolly's power-play goal at 1:41 completed the scoring. Vokoun stopped 16 shots in the third period and 41 for the game, ending any thoughts of another third-period collapse.

"I'm sure it went through everybody's head,'' Weiss said. "That's a sign of a team growing. It goes in your head and right back out. You learn from what happened last game and put the score behind you.''

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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