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Cats Earn Point in OT Loss vs. Sabres

Friday, 11.10.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Cats Earn Point in OT Loss vs. Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Thomas Vanek wasn't about to let his teammates down a second time.

After failing on a penalty shot in the second period, Vanek stormed back to score two goals, including the winner 19 seconds into overtime, and the Buffalo Sabres erased another two-goal deficit to win 5-4 over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

The Sabres have come back to win six times after falling behind by two goals this season.

"Any time you have a chance to do something for your team, and you miss the opportunity, you're extra motivated to go out there and make up for it," Vanek said. "I was able to do that."

Florida forward Gary Roberts' holding penalty with less than 2 minutes left in regulation carried into overtime, where the Sabres had a 4-on-3 advantage. Ales Kotalik ripped a slap shot from the top of the left circle that was partially blocked by Panthers defenseman Mike Van Ryn, and Vanek picked up the loose puck in front and slid it past Florida goalie Alex Auld.

Following the play, Roberts was assessed an additional two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, as well as a 10-minute misconduct and a gross misconduct. He declined to talk about the infractions after the game.

The goal was retribution for Vanek after Auld foiled his penalty-shot attempt 1:37 into the second period.

"He's such a big goalie, I just hit him on the top of the shoulder," said Vanek, who was awarded the penalty shot after being hooked at the Panthers blue line by Van Ryn.

"I was trying to wait and be patient," Auld said. "He tried to go high and I got my elbow on it."

Brian Campbell, Paul Gaustad and Ales Kotalik also scored for the Sabres, who won their second straight overtime game.

The Sabres played for the first time without three regulars, including starting goaltender Ryan Miller, who is day-to-day with a lower body muscle strain. Forward Maxim Afinogenov (upper body) and defenseman Henrik Tallinder (broken left forearm) also missed the game.

Martin Biron started in place of Miller and made 15 saves in his second straight start, and fourth of the season. He won a franchise-record 13 consecutive starts last year when Miller was out for more than a month with a broken thumb.

"It's one of those games as a goalie that you put the win in the bank and you just regroup," Biron said. "I'm fortunate enough that the team in front of me kept going at it."

Roberts, Ruslan Salei, Joe Nieuwendyk and Steve Montador scored for the Panthers, who lost their second straight.

The Panthers opened the scoring when Roberts scored his third goal on Florida's first shot 5 minutes into the game.

Salei made it 2-0 11 seconds after Vanek missed on the penalty shot. Coming out of the penalty box, Salei took Jay Bouwmeester's long pass and wristed a shot past Biron for his second goal.

Vanek solved Auld for his ninth goal to make it 2-1 over a minute later, and Campbell tied it 2:13 later with his second goal.

"Down 2-0, we started to roll," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Gaustad's first goal gave Buffalo its first lead at 3:14 of the third, and Kotalik made it 4-2 50 seconds later with his fifth goal.

Nieuwendyk closed the gap to 4-3 midway through the third with his fourth, and Montador tied it with 3:21 left in regulation.

"We battled back hard," said Florida captain Olli Jokinen, who picked up two assists. "This is a tough building to play in. Not too many teams get points here."

Auld made 21 saves in losing his sixth straight start.

"It's frustrating not to get the win when we came back like that and took it to overtime," he said.

Notes: The Sabres look to extend their league-record eight-game road winning streak to start the season Saturday in Philadelphia. They then travel to Carolina to play the Hurricanes on Monday. ... Ruff said that Miller will go on the short, two-game road trip. ... Sabres D Toni Lydman missed the entire third period with a migraine headache. ... Florida has lost seven of its last nine. ... Panthers center Chris Gratton missed the game to be with his wife, who gave birth Thursday to the couple's second child.

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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