Franson, Reinhart lead Sabres to 3-2 win over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Cody Franson scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, Sam Reinhart added a power-play goal early in the third and the improving Buffalo Sabres held off the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Thursday night.
Brian Gionta also scored for the Sabres, and Rasmus Ristolainen had two assists. Linus Ullmark stopped 36 shots during his fifth start in six games.
Buffalo, last in the NHL the past two seasons, upped its record to 8-8-0 with its fifth victory in six games. Led by newcomer Ryan O’Reilly and rookie star Jack Eichel, the Sabres have won three straight road games for the first time since March 2012.
Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau scored for Florida, and Jaromir Jagr had an assist. Roberto Luongo made 15 saves but has allowed at least three goals in each of his last four games.
The Sabres stretched their lead to 3-1 on Reinhart’s power-play goal. Tyler Ennis took a shot from above the right circle and Reinhart tipped in the puck at 3:38 of the third.
Florida closed to 3-2 when Trocheck deflected a shot from the point by Aaron Ekblad into the net with 4 minutes left. Trocheck is tied with Jagr for the team lead in goals with seven.
Franson gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead with 1:07 left in the second. Franson’s shot from above the left circle went between Luongo’s pads.
The Sabres had a goal disallowed at 13:27 of the second. Ennis shot the puck from the right side of the crease and it bounced off the stick of Luongo and into the net.
The Panthers challenged the goal, claiming Ennis was offside before Eichel crossed the blue line with the puck. Officials reversed the ruling on the ice after a replay review, and the score remained 1-0.
About 3 minutes later, on a power play, Huberdeau poked a loose puck past Ullmark, who was knocked down on the play. Buffalo challenged, claiming goalie interference, but the call stood and Huberdeau had his first goal of the season at 9:35 to tie it 1-all.
Huberdeau hadn’t scored since April 11, 2015, against New Jersey.
Gionta’s first goal of the season gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead late in the first period. His shot from the right circle got past Luongo on the glove side with 31.5 seconds left.
NOTES: Panthers C Aleksander Barkov, out with a hand injury since Oct. 22, skated with the team on Thursday. . Jagr played in his 1,564th career game, tying Nicklas Lidstrom for 10th place in NHL history. ... Sabres D Mike Weber missed the game with a lower-body injury.