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At the Horn: Panthers 2 - Sabres 3

Buffalo defeats Florida on '90s Night

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The Buffalo Sabres are off to a strong start to the 2020 calendar year after their 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Buffalo improved to 2-0-0 in the new decade after the win at KeyBank Center. 

Henri Jokihaju, Conor Sheary and Sam Reinhart scored for Buffalo. Linus Ullmark made 31 saves to pick up his 13th win of the season. 

Sergei Bobrovsky was chased from the net after allowing two goals on seven shots. Chris Driedger replaced him and stopped 10 Sabres shots.

Before the game, the Sabres welcomed back over 20 alumni from the 1990s as the team celebrated '90s Night. Michael Peca surprised fans by revealing a Buffalo Bills jersey under his retro Sabres jersey as he was introduced on the ice before the game.

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: Michael Peca coming in reppin' 🙌#OneBuffalo | #GoBills

The Bills play the Houston Texans this afternoon in a Wild Card playoff game.

Here's a '90s Sabres-centric video open:

Video: '90s Night Video Open

Video: FLA@BUF: Sabres pay tribute to 90s alumni in ceremony

What happened

Jokiharju scored his fourth goal of the season when he jumped into the play and finished off a passing series by Reinhart and Jack Eichel, going top shelf to put Buffalo up 1-0 with 7:11 remaining in the first.

Sheary netted his goal 1:35 into the second on a setup from Johansson to make it 2-0. 

Reinhart's one-timer on the power play gave Buffalo a 3-0 lead 

Ullmark made some timely saves throughout the game, including a stop on a shorthanded chance when Frank Vatrano skated on alone late in the second period. 

Florida kept things interesting with two goals in the third period. First, Mike Matheson scored with 7:31 left and then a goal from Evgenii Dadonov put the Panthers within one with 1:10 remaining in regulation. Florida upped their offensive zone pressure in the final minute. 

What it means

The Sabres are now 19-17-7 on the season and 13-5-3 on home ice. 

Sheary's goal gives him six points (4+2) in his last five home games. He now has a point (1+1) in each of his two games against the Panthers this season.

Marcus Johansson's assist today extended his point streak to four games (1+4). It's his first four-game point streak since Jan. 19 to Feb. 2, 2019 (2+3).

Roll the highlight film

Reinhart scored Buffalo's first power-play goal in seven games:

Video: FLA@BUF: Reinhart rips one-timer off the crossbar

Coming up

Tomorrow is the Sabres Skills Challenge presented by New Era Cap. Click here for more info. The event begins at 11 a.m. with doors opening for an alumni autograph session at 9:30. Tickets are on sale now.

The Sabres' next game is Thursday in St. Louis. 

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