FLA - B. Boyes (12), SO - B. Boyes BUF - J. McBain (3)
BUFFALO — (NHL.com) - Brad Boyes scored in regulation and again the shootout to give the Florida Panthers a 2-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Thursday night.
Boyes scored his 37th career shootout goal, the most since the NHL adopted the tiebreaker in 2005, in the third round when he ripped a shot that hit the right post, caromed off the back of goaltender Jhonas Enroth's leg and went over the goal line.
"That was its own unique one which makes hockey, hockey. For a 1-1 game, there was a lot of drama…but it was good to come out with two."
- Panthers netminder Tim Thomas
1. Timmy "The Tool Time" Thomas: Netminder Tim Thomas was tested and made some highlight reel saves to keep the Buffalo attack off the scoreboard for the majority of the night. The Stanley Cup winner robbed Jamie McBain in the first with the Cats killing a penalty on a diving stop and then stacked the pads to keep Marcus Foligno from scoring. In the second he came up with the right pad save on Tyler Ennis and then stopped Brian Flynn on a breakaway seconds after McBain got the Sabres on the board on a great scoring play that no goaltender could stop. Tool Time finished with 23 saves on the night including a couple in overtime and then all three Sabres shootout shooters.
2. Boyes Time: The Killer B line just continues to shine. Aleksander Barkov's point streak came to an end but his linemates helped set up the equalizer. Sean Bergenheim took a shot in the third that Jhonas Enroth stopped. The long rebound was picked up by Tom Gilbert and his shot was redirected in by Brad Boyes to tie the game midway through the third. The trio combined for 11 Panthers shots on the night, creating chances throughout and the equalizer in the end.
3. Iron-y: The Cats had their chances in the third period and could have won it in regulation as they had a goal called back after Dmitry Kulikov was injured and then put at least four shots off the iron, including two by Tomas Fleischmann. Ironically enough, it was the post that helped them eventually pick up the full two points. After Thomas stopped all three Sabres shootout shooters, Boyes fired a shot that hit the post, bounced back and then in off of Enroth. A third visit to the video replay after the ref initially waved off the goal, showed a good goal and allowed the Panthers to celebrate the win.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.
@sarahmpineda: @FlaPanthers what a well deserved win tonight, congrats
@soccer416steph: Perfect timing...just landed, turned on gamecenter live and saw #bradboyes score in the shootout, and watch @FlaPanthers win!!!
@DelaneyWarters: so proud of my boys tonight @FlaPanthers
@KyleSwain32: Great win tonight by the @FlaPanthers even through all the tough calls. Guys deserved it. #GoCats #KillerBs #WeSeeRED
Memorable fan posts from the game.
Christopher Carlsson: Awesome, 3 saves by Thomas in the shootout! Congratulations to Boyes for the game Winner
Kimberly Conroy: Can't wait to watch these highlights tomorrow. Great game boys and safe travels. I'll see you in NJ on Saturday!
Joshua Cardenas: That was awesome! !!!
3. The Cats dominated the face-off circle in the first period, combining to lose just three times. Young guns Drew Shore, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad all went perfect in the dot (going 9-0 along the way).
6. Forward Aleksander Barkov's impressive rookie point streak came to an end at six games. The Flying Finn had posted seven points (1-6-7) in tying the franchise record for rookie point streaks.
7. The Panthers rattled off the first seven shots in the game on their way to outshooting the Sabres 13-8 in the first period.
800. Blueliner Brian Campbell hit a milestone in the city he began his NHL career, suiting up his 800th career game against the Sabres. He became the 66th active player to hit 800 games.
Thomas continues his strong play between the pipes, allowing just the one save on 27 shots (three via the shootout).
The Panthers close out their three-game Northeast trek with a Saturday night game in New Jersey. This will be the first meetings of the season between the teams that met in the 2011-12 Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Currently sixth in the Metropolitan Division, New Jersey is led by the ageless one Jaromir Jagr. No. 68 has 13 goals and 35 points in 44 games. Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider have split the time between the pipes with the 40-year old Brodeur posting a 12-9-4 record and 2.39 GAA in 25 games.