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Campbell pushes Panthers past Sabres
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Brian Campbell scored the deciding goal in the third period to lift the Florida Panthers over the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, at First Niagara Center.
Shawn Matthias, George Parros and Peter Mueller also scored for the Panthers, who have won two straight. Jose Theodore stopped 17 shots in the victory.
Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson each had a goal and two assists, while Alexander Sulzer also lit the lamp and Ryan Miller made 29 saves for Buffalo, which dropped its second straight game and sixth of its last seven overall.
The Sabres held a 2-1 advantage entering the second period and jumped ahead by two goals at the 3:49 mark of the second with Sulzer's slap shot from the right point that snuck inside the near post, but Florida got back within a goal with 9:39 left in the middle stanza when a Buffalo turnover led to a rush Parros finished with a wrister through Miller's legs from the slot.
The Panthers were then able to knot the game at 3-3 with just 54 seconds left in the second as Mueller cleaned up a rebound in front.
The score remained tied in the third period until Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff was called for hooking 7:51 into the frame and Florida capitalized on the power play when Tomas Kopecky lost the puck while trying a sweeping shot from the right of the net and it slid across the crease to Campbell, who stuffed it home for the 4-3 lead.
Theodore made the lead stand with just four saves in the third period, including a big stop in the closing seconds after the Sabres pulled Miller for an extra attacker.
Buffalo struck first just 2:46 into the game after Jason Pominville received a pass to the right of the net before spinning around and slipping a backhand pass between his legs to Vanek, who fired the puck into the twine from the left of the net.
The Panthers answered with a goal at the 8:36 mark as Jerred Smithson won an offensive zone faceoff back to Matthias and he quickly rifled a shot under the crossbar before the Sabres regained the lead with 6:19 left in the opening frame on Hodgson's tip-in from the right of the net off a pass from Vanek.
Vanek has recorded a point in all eight games he has played this season ... Panthers forward Stephen Weiss missed his fifth straight game with a lower body injury ... It was the Panthers' first road win of the season ... The Sabres had won nine of the last 13 meetings between the teams in Buffalo ... Florida was 1-for-2 on the power play, while Buffalo went 0-for-1 with the man advantage.
02/03 18:07:07 ET