Panthers Pounce on Sabres With 3 Quick Late Goals

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Evgenii Dadonov had two goals and an assist to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Troy Brouwer, Aleksander Barkov and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers, who scored three goals in a span of 2:44 in the third period. Roberto Luongo made 30 saves.

Florida Panthers Evgenii Dadonov and Roberto Luongo
Florida Panthers Evgenii Dadonov and goalie Roberto Luongo (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Ristolainen scored for Buffalo, which lost to Florida for the seventh consecutive time. Carter Hutton made 30 saves.

The game turned late in the second period following a tripping penalty by Skinner on Barkov.

Barkov briefly left the game and defenceman Keith Yandle went after Skinner, dropping his gloves and drawing a roughing penalty as Skinner backed off.

Both players — and the Panthers as a team — responded to open the third period. As Yandle was booed loudly, the defenceman’s long shot was deflected into the net by Barkov for a power-play goal 58 seconds in to make it 2-2.

Less than two minutes later, Dadonov converted on a penalty shot after he was taken down by defenceman Rasmus Dahlin on a breakaway. Dadonov’s shot was initially stopped by Hutton, but he never secured the puck and between his legs and it trickled past the goal line to make it 3-2.

Vatrano completed the flurry 4:42 into the third. After Dadonov circled around the Buffalo net, Vatrano buried Dadonov’s rebound to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead.

Dadonov added an empty-net goal with 2:30 remaining.

Skinner opened the scoring on his 25th goal of the season 3:48 into the game, finishing a feed from the corner by Jack Eichel. With the goal, Skinner topped his goal total from last season (24) in just 35 games.

Eichel and Skinner extended their point streaks to seven games on the opening goal.

Brouwer evened the score midway through the second period off two fortunate bounces in the Buffalo end. After Jared McCann’s initial shot on a 3-on-1 went behind the net, Brouwer flung the rebound off Hutton’s skate and into the net from a hard angle.

Ristolainen made it 2-1 with 8:52 left in the second on a misstep by Luongo, tucking a shot inside the near post from close range.

Sabres veteran Jason Pominville was injured six minutes into the third period after an accidental collision with Ristolainen. Pominville made his way slowly to the locker room and did not return.

NOTES: Sam Reinhart recorded his 100th career assist on Buffalo’s opening goal. … Panthers coach Bob Boughner played in 177 games for the Sabres from 1996-98. D Nathan Beaulieu and LW Remi Elie were scratched for Buffalo. … C Colton Sceviour, Nick Bjugstad and D Bogdan Kiselevich were scratched for Florida. … The next meeting between these teams will be Jan. 3 in Buffalo.


Panthers: At Toronto on Thursday.

Sabres: At Washington on Friday.


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Mark Ludwiczak, The Associated Press