BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Dixon Ward scored his team-leading 10th goal and Dominik Hasek continued his mastery at home with 27 saves as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Ward, who leads the NHL in shooting percentage, scored the game-winner at 12:01 of the second period on a rebound of his own shot to beat Florida goaltender Kirk McLean.

The Panthers appeared deflated, coming off Tuesday night's heartbreaking 5-4 overtime loss to the Rangers in which Brian Leetch scored the tying goal with one second left in regulation and Adam Graves won it in overtime.

After a scoreless first period, Wayne Primeau scored for Buffalo two minutes into the second on a one-timer from Alexei Zhitnik that got past McLean. It was Primeau's second goal of the season.

McLean finished with 26 saves.

The Panthers tied it three minutes later when Ray Whitney backhanded the rebound of a shot by Kirk Muller over Dominik Hasek for his seventh of the season.

Hasek has started the last 39 home games for the Sabres and has a 23-8-8 record and a 1.56 goals-against average. He also has seven shutouts in that span.

Buffalo (11-5-4) is off to its best start in nine years, when the Sabres began the season 12-4-3. The Sabres are unbeaten in their last seven home games.