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Miller, Sabres thwart Panthers

By Rick Menning

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres started their

six-game road trip off on the right foot with a 3-2 shootout

victory over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center on


Ryan Miller turned aside 27 shots in regulation and stopped both

attempts in the shootout for Buffalo, which claimed its third

straight win.

Ales Kotalik and Derek Roy tallied in the bonus format while

Thomas Vanek scored and Tim Connolly notched his third goal in

two games during regulation for the Sabres.

David Booth scored on penalty shot and added an assist, Nathan

Horton also tallied and Tomas Vokoun finished with 21 saves for

Florida, which is 5-0-3 in its last eight games.

The shootout loss was the Panthers' fourth straight and sixth in

eight which have ventured into the bonus format this season.

Florida rallied a 2-1 deficit with 3:24 remaining in the third

after Horton accepted a feed from Booth from behind the net and

fired a one-timer past Miller.

The Sabres capitalized on their second power-play opportunity

just 4:22 into the third period to take the lead in a matchup of

two teams who entered play two points apart in the Eastern


All-Star defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was serving his second minor

of the period when Buffalo's Thomas Vanek netted his 28th from

close range off the pad of Vokoun.

The Panthers had jumped ahead 1-0 when Booth netted his

team-leading 19th goal on a penalty shot with 3:31 remaining in

the first period.

It was the first such goal scored against Miller, who had

stopped all eight previous attempts. The tally was also the

first penalty-shot goal allowed by the Sabres since December 4,


Miller, who was 8-for-8 in penalty shot stops, was beaten

cleanly to the stick side by Booth, who was held from behind by

defenseman Henrik Tallinder on a breakaway.

It was Booth's 16th point in his last 14 games.

With just over two minutes left in the second period, Buffalo

tied the game at 1-1 with a fortunate bounce following an

initial shot by Connolly from the faceoff circle to the left of


The shot found the stick of Florida's Gregory Campbell, who

tried for the clear but instead the puck caromed off the skate

of defenseman Karlis Skrastins and just inside the far post.

The equalizer proved a tough turn of events for the Panthers,

who outshot the Sabres by a 10-6 margin in the period and 19-13

heading into the final 20 minutes.



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