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Sabres 3, Panthers 1

The SportsXchange

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sabres captain Steve Ott scored with 7:18 left in the third period to lead Buffalo to a rare win Friday night, beating the Florida Panthers 3-1 at the BB&T Center.

The Sabres entered Friday with the worst record in the NHL at 1-9-1. Their only previous win came in a shootout.

On the winning goal, defenseman Christian Enrhoff put a slap shot on net while Ott, creating traffic in front, got the tip to make it 2-1.

Sabres backup goaltender Jhonas Enroth, giving Ryan Miller a night off, took it from there.

Cody Hodgson added an empty-net goal with 46.6 seconds left. He has one goal in each of his past three games.

Florida goalie Jacob Markstrom took the hard-luck loss.

Early on, though, it looked light it would be the Panthers' night.

With 6:02 left in the first period, Sean Bergenheim made his presence felt, streaking down the left side and feeding Jesse Winchester in front for a goal and a 1-0 lead.

Bergenheim, a left winger, was playing his first game since the end of the 2012 season due to abdominal and hip surgeries.

The Panthers ended the first period with an 18-4 advantage in shots on goal. And the period ended with a fight between Buffalo's Ott and Florida's Erik Gudbranson.

The second period was more of the same as the Panthers outshot the Sabres, 16-10.

But with 6:28 left in the second period, the Sabres broke through with a goal by Rasmus Ristolainen, his first of the season, to tie the score at 1. The assists went to Thomas Vanek and Jamie McBain.

The Sabres play at Tampa on Saturday before returning home for Monday's game against Dallas. The Panthers (3-7-1) are just 1-2-1 so far in their six-game homestand that continues Sunday against Tampa.

NOTES: Panthers veteran G Scott Clemmensen is back on the team as a reserve. He takes the roster spot of G Tim Thomas, who is on injured reserve through at least this weekend due to a groin injury. ... Panthers D Ed Jovanovski (hip) is also on injured reserve. ... RW Corey Tropp (jaw) and LW Ville Leino (rib) of the Sabres are on the injured list. ... LW John Scott and RW Patrick Kaleta of the Sabres are serving suspensions. ... The Panthers took two of the three meetings from the Sabres last season, with C Shawn Matthias scoring three goals in the series. Matthias, though, had no goals this season entering Friday. ... RW Scottie Upshall was inactive for the Panthers on Friday, benched in favor of the return of LW Bergenheim.
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