Panthers 2, Sabres 1

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SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Mathieu Biron finally got the best of his big brother.

The Florida defenseman became the first NHL player in 23 years to score against his brother, beating Martin Biron in the Panthers’ 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

Phil Esposito of the New York Rangers was the last previous player to accomplish the feat, scoring on brother Tony of Chicago on Nov. 5, 1980.

“The Esposito brothers probably have been fighting for the last 23 years,” Martin Biron joked. “We’ll probably be fighting for the next 23 years, my brother and I.”

Mathieu Biron, who at 23 is three younger than Martin, gave Florida a 2-0 lead late in the first period when he joined a two-on-one rush and tipped Stephen Weiss’ pass past his brother.

“I was happy,” Mathieu Biron said. “I knew it was going to come sooner or later. I’m glad he didn’t put me on the ice right after the goal. I didn’t know what was going on. It’s hard to explain.”

The Birons’ parents, Celine and Rejean, were in the crowd.

“In the summer they were nagging each other, with Mathieu saying that he would score on Martin,” Celine Biron said. “It was good that it was a nice goal. It wouldn’t have been as nice if it was a cheap goal.”

The goal was Mathieu Biron’s first of the season and the sixth of his NHL career, which began in 1999-00 with the New York Islanders.

Martin Biron finished with 22 saves.

Weiss also scored for Florida, which won consecutive games for the first time all season. The victory also enabled the Panthers, who won at Washington on Saturday night, to follow a road victory with a home win for the first time since March 2001.

“We’re glad we won the two games and we’re glad we’re on, I guess, a mini-roll,” Florida coach Rick Dudley said. “But I don’t care about these two games anymore. All I care about is the next one.”

Roberto Luongo made 36 saves for Florida, allowing only J.P. Dumont’s power-play goal in the third period.

“We can’t afford to come out flat against a team like Florida,” said Dumont, Luongo’s roommate for four years in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. “They’re a good young team. And you can’t afford to fall behind against a goalie like Luongo, especially considering how hot he’s been lately.”

Weiss’ two points gave him six points in the last three games. He has 10 points in 10 games since being recalled from San Antonio of the AHL on Nov. 6.

“I’m just trying to play my game,” Weiss said. “Everything seems to be going my way. The first one was nothing special. I put my stick out and it finds its way in. On the second one, Biron makes a nice tip and it goes in. Maybe a little bit of luck.”

The Sabres, playing their fourth game in six nights, dominated the action in the last two periods, but Luongo made several big saves and Maxim Afinogenov hit the post on a shot from the front of the net in the second period.

Dumont got Buffalo on the board at 2:18 of the third period when he tippedAlexei Zhitnik’s slap shot from the point.

Notes

The teams will meet again Friday night in Buffalo. … Florida was missing seven players because of injuries, including defenseman Branislav Mezei, who sustained an eye injury Saturday night at Washington. … Buffalo is 0-10 this season when allowing the first goal. … The Panthers hadn’t wonconsecutive games since beating Ottawa and Philadelphia in February.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
M. Biron M. Biron
Florida Panthers
Scored at 18:17 of 1st

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Martin Biron NYR 24 22