Fri, Mar 27, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Sabres rally rattles Florida Panthers

LOST OPPORTUNITY The Panthers not only squandered a two-goal lead, but also the chance to move into a tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference standings with Montreal


Tim Jackman of the New York Islanders, right, is knocked over by Minnesota Wild’s John Scott during their NHL game in Uniondale, New York, on Wednesday.


Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists during a 2 minute, 7 second span of the third period, leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday.

Tim Connolly scored the go-ahead goal to cap the surge and added an assist for a Buffalo team that overcame a 3-1 deficit and won for only the second time in eight games (2-5-1). Clarke MacArthur, Craig Rivet and Maxim Afinogenov also scored for the Sabres, who needed a win to avoid falling further out of playoff contention.

With 78 points and nine games left, Buffalo remain in 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings, but moved within five points of eighth-placed Montreal.

The ninth-place Panthers not only squandered a two-goal lead, but also an opportunity to move into a tie with Montreal.

Brett McLean had a goal and assist, while Richard Zednik and Michael Frolik also scored for Florida, 1-4-3 in their past eight games.


In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to help Pittsburgh keep pace in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race.

Defensemen Kris Letang and Hal Gill scored, while Evgeni Malkin had two assists, giving him a career-high 107 points and extending his NHL scoring lead to 11 points.

After having their 12-game points streak snapped in a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, the Penguins beat the Flames to take over sole possession of sixth place in the conference with 88 points — a point behind Carolina and two behind Philadelphia.


In Chicago, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews scored in a shootout, while Chicago goalie Nikolai Khabibulin turned away Jeremy Roenick on San Jose’s final attempt.

San Jose overcame a 4-1 deficit to force overtime, tying it at 5-5 on Joe Thornton’s goal with 2 minutes, 8 seconds left in the third period.

Andrew Ladd had two goals for Chicago, Toews added his 30th, while Martin Havlat and Dustin Byfuglien also scored. Chicago moved out of a tie with Vancouver for fourth place in the Western Conference with 89 points, passing their total from last season.

Devin Setoguchi scored twice for the Sharks, tied with Detroit for the overall NHL lead, while Jamie McGinn and Marc-Edouard Vlasic added goals.


In Denver, Colorado, Corey Perry scored two goals, while Andrew Ebbett had a goal and two assists as Anaheim won their season-high fifth straight game and moved into seventh place in the Western Conference.

James Wisniewski tied a career high with three assists, Erik Christensen, Teemu Selanne, Rob Niedermayer and Petteri Nokelainen added goals, while Jonas Hiller made 34 saves for the Ducks.

Milan Hejduk and Cody McLeod scored for Colorado, who have lost five straight for the third time this season.


In Uniondale, New York, Marian Gaborik had two goals and two assists, Andrew Brunette and Owen Nolan each scored once and set up two others as Minnesota snapped a five-game road losing streak.

Martin Skoula and Antti Miettinen added goals, while Niklas Backstrom made 32 saves for his 33rd victory. Minnesota jumped over St Louis and tied ninth-place Nashville with 78 points in the Western Conference playoff race. The Wild were 2-7-2 in their previous 11 road games — averaging only two goals per contest.

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