BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Florida Panthers overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Sunday at the First Niagara Center.
Brian Campbell scored the winning goal with 10:33 remaining in the final period. The former Sabre found himself with plenty of net to shoot at after Tomas Kopecky tried to deke in front of the Buffalo net. The puck found its way to Campbell inside the left circle, and he scored his fourth goal of the season.
George Parros and Peter Mueller scored in the second period to erase Buffalo's two-goal lead. Shawn Matthias also scored for Florida (3-5). Jose Theodore had 17 saves.
Thomas Vanek continued his hot streak with a goal and two assists, but it wasn't enough for the Sabres (3-5-1). With three points against the Panthers, Vanek has an NHL-leading 19 points on the season. Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville also scored for the Sabres. Ryan Miller had 29 saves.
Vanek opened the scoring 2:46 into the game after some pretty passing by the Sabres. Vanek buried a wrist shot past Theodore after receiving a no-look, between-the-legs pass from Pominville.
Florida answered at the 8:36 mark with a Matthias blast following a faceoff win in the Buffalo zone.
Vanek set up Buffalo's second goal with some nifty stick-handling in the Florida zone. Vanek deked past Campbell before finding Hodgson, who had an easy tap-in in front of the net at the 13:41 mark.
Alexander Sulzer, on a pass from Vanek, increased Buffalo's lead to 3-1 with a slap shot from the point 3:49 into the second period.
Parros cut Buffalo's lead to 3-2 with a wrist shot that went through Miller's legs halfway through the second period.
Mueller tied the game at 3-3 just before the end of the second period. With Miller out of the crease after a puck bounced off the boards behind the net, Mueller corralled the rebound and put his backhand opportunity into the open net.
NOTES: Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera missed the game after suffering a lower body injury against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Sekera is not expected to miss a significant amount of time. Fellow defenseman Robyn Regher (lower body) also missed the game but is expected to return soon. ... Florida's Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup after missing four games with a groin injury. ... Panthers defenseman Filip Kuba played in his 800th NHL game. ... Sunday's game wrapped up the third of nine sets of back-to-back games for the Sabres. ... This was the 73rd meeting between the two teams. Buffalo held a 42-25-5 advantage heading into Sunday's game.