Panthers 4, Sabres 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Jozef Stumpel had a great day.
Stumpel was named to the Olympic team for Slovakia and then scored two goals to help the Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 4-1 on Thursday night.
“It’s exciting and maybe it gave me a lift,” said Stumpel, of making the Turin roster. “It was great to get a couple goals.”
The victory snapped the Sabres’ seven-game winning streak and ended goalie Martin Biron’s 13-game winning streak.
The Sabres, who were last beaten by San Jose 5-0 on Dec. 2, had also won nine consecutive road games, one short of the league record set by the Sabres in 1983-84 and matched by the St. Louis Blues in 2000 and the New Jersey Devils in 2001. Buffalo last lost on the road in Ottawa, 6-1, on Nov. 12. The loss to the Senators was Biron’s last defeat.
“I made a mistake on their second goal to give the puck up on the wall,” Biron said. “I’ll take the blame for that. They created the chances and created more opportunities and they got the goals.”
Florida took a 4-1 lead during a five-on-three power play on Jokinen’s shot from the right circle at 15:38 of the third period.
“We played a solid 60 minutes,” Jokinen said. “In the second we took over the game and gave up a freak goal but we played smart and held the lead.”
The Sabres scored a power-play goal at 16:49 of the second period on Campbell’s slap shot from the point that deflected off the stick of Vanek that closed the gap to 3-1.
“I gave up that goal where the guy (Vanek) tipped it in the slot,” Luongo said. “I thought tonight was probably our best game of the year. A complete effort in every aspect of the game.”
The Panthers scored three times in the second period. They took a 3-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Stumpel at 11:56. The Panthers’ Lukas Krajicek cleared the zone and Stumpel beat Jason Pominville to the puck. His slap shot went over Biron’s shoulder.
Olesz made the score 2-0 at 3:17. A shot from the point by Jokinen was blocked but Olesz was there for the rebound and poked in the puck.
Stumpel’s first goal came at 1:27 and gave Florida a 1-0 lead. Joe Nieuwendyk passed the puck across the front of the crease to Stumpel, who was waiting on Biron’s left. Stumpel’s shot beat Biron on the glove side.
“We are definitely disappointed,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. “Our execution wasn’t very good.”
The Panthers have won four of their past five games. … Buffalo had won 15 of its past 17 games. … Stumpel had two goals in a game for the first time this season.