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By The Numbers: Sabres 3, Panthers 1

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Panthers By The Numbers takes a closer look at some of the

interesting stats that you may or may have not known about.

  Sabres 3, Panthers 1

1 – Not only did the goal give the Sabres a 1-0 lead 3:04 into the contest, but Jaroslav Spacek’s eighth of the season was the first of his career against his former team. The Buffalo blueliner, who played 157 games for the Cats during 2 ½ seasons (1998-2000), had four assists in 11 games going into Thursday night against the Panthers.

2 – Looking for an offensive spark in the game, the Panthers had called up rookie Michal Repik from Rochester prior to the game. It worked. 9:36 into the first, Repik knotted the score at one as his turn-around shot beat Patrick Lalime for his second goal of his career in just his fifth game. Repik scored in his first game in the NHL back on December 8th.

3 – Picking up the only assist on Repik’s first period goal, David Booth stretched his assist and point streak to three games. The Panthers forward, who is second on the team in scoring with 44 points, has three goals and three assists during the streak.

6 – A stretch pass by Spacek would give the home team the lead once again heading into the first intermission. Spacek found Daniel Paille streaking down the side and hit him with a tape-to-tape pass. Paille then wristed a shot that handcuffed Tomas Vokoun for his 8th of the season with 2:55 remaining in the opening period. It was his first goal in six games.

18 – The Panthers and Sabres played a clean first period as neither team took a penalty in the opening frame. That changed just 18 seconds into the second as Richard Zednik went off for holding the stick. Both teams ended with two minors apiece in the second period.

1:07 – The Cats had their chances. Boy did they. First Jason Pominville went to the penalty box for tripping 9:38 into the third period. Then Henrik Tallinder was sent to the box for hooking 10:31, giving the Panthers a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:07. Despite several good chances, including one off a rebound chance by Michael Frolik, Lalime was able to keep the Panthers power play at bay the entire time.

34 – A little luck and it was a two-goal lead for Buffalo. With Booth in the box for hooking, a dump in was stopped by Vokoun and sent to Jay Bouwmeester in the corner. His pass was intended for a Cats forward up the ice but it took a hop and found the stick of Derek Roy. His shot was stopped by Vokoun but Thomas Vanek put int the rebound for the forward’s 34th of the season and first since missing nine games with a broken jaw (fifth game played).

4 – Florida spent a lot of time in the offensive zone in the second and third periods, outshooting Buffalo 23-13 after the Sabres had a 10-8 shot advantage in the first. Buffalo, in fact, had just four shots on Vokoun in the final period of play. Unfortunately one of those put the game out of reach in a 3-1 win for the Sabres.

25 – Kamil Kreps was a busy man in the face-off circle, taking almost 40% of the Panthers draws (25 of 63), winning 13 of those draws. The next closest Panther was Stephen Weiss with 18 face-offs taken, seven less than Kreps. Kreps did most of his damage in the defensive zone, 62% of the draws (8 of 13).

4 (part II) – A head scratcher when you look at the hits column for the Panthers. Not only did Keith Ballard fail to register a hit, but the Cats leader was none other than forward Cory Stillman who had four of the team’s 11 hits. Stillman actually had one more hit than Buffalo’s leader, Toni Lydman.
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