NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Buffalo 1 1 0 0 2
Florida 1 0 1 1 3
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 30, 2018
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida  Attendance: 12,179

Sabres look to start new streak vs. Panthers

Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers

  1. The Sabres fell to the Lightning, 5-4, in Tampa on Thursday, snapping a 10-game winning streak that had tied their franchise record. Buffalo had allowed two goals or fewer in seven of its previous eight games, as well.
  2. Sam Reinhart had a pair of goals in the loss to Tampa Bay, giving him 19 points (5g, 14a) this season. The number two overall pick in 2014 set a career high with 50 points (25g, 25a) last season, and is on pace for 60 points this year.
  3. Since January 1, 2014, Florida is 16-3-1 against the Sabres, its best record against any other team in that timespan. Florida has scored four goals in each of the last four meetings between these teams, the longest streak by either side in this matchup.
  4. The Panthers fell to the Ducks, 3-2, at home on Wednesday after blowing a 2-1 lead, falling to 1-3-1 in their last five. The Panthers now have 10 blown-lead losses this season, two more than any other team in the league.
  5. Jonathan Huberdeau had another two assists in the loss to Anaheim, giving him two in three straight games and four of his last five. He's just the third Panther all-time with a three-game streak, joining Tom Gilbert (2013-14) and Gord Murphy (1995-96). No Panther has ever had a four-game streak.
  6. The Sabres are 7-2 in games decided beyond regulation this season, the most wins in the league and the second-best record (Toronto, 3-0). Florida's 3-4 record ranks tied for 22nd.

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Lately, it's been domination by the Buffalo Sabres and frustration by the Florida Panthers.

On Friday night, the Panthers will host the Sabres (17-7-2), who had won 10 straight games until losing an epic 5-4 battle at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.

The Panthers (9-10-4), meanwhile, are nearly halfway through a crucial eight-game home stretch. They are 1-1-1 so far and have given up some painful goals late in games.

On Saturday night, the Panthers appeared to have a win over the Chicago Blackhawks. However, Chicago scored with just 1.8 seconds left in regulation and then got the overtime goal to stun the Panthers.

Then, on Wednesday, the Panthers lost 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks, allowing the deciding goal with 1:28 left in the third period.

"We've had a couple of tough bounces," Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle said. "Those things come and go in waves. We just have to continue to stay in our system, and it will work itself out."

But the Panthers, who are tied for last in the 16-team Eastern Conference with 22 points, must feel a sense of urgency now that they have played roughly one-fourth of their season (23 games out of 82).

Indeed, Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau said that giving up the late goal to the Ducks left a bitter taste.

"It's frustrating," he said. "We battled a full 60 ... It's tough."

Things have been much happier for the Sabres, who had won seven of the 10 games in their streak in overtime. The Sabres finished last season with the worst record in the NHL but have found the winning formula so far this time around.

The Sabres were so bad last season that they trailed the Panthers by 34 points in the standings ... and the Panthers didn't even make the playoffs.

This season, the Sabres are fourth in the latest NHL power rankings put out by ESPN.com and also by CBS. The Panthers are 26th in the ESPN rankings and 21st by CBS.

One of the keys for the Sabres is Rasmus Dahlin, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft who leads the league's rookie defensemen with 13 points, including 11 assists.

"We want to change this together," Dahlin said of Buffalo's transformation, so far at least, from last-place club to legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Dahlin had been on the ice for a team-best 12 goals during the just-concluded 10-game win streak.

But it's not just Dahlin. Goalie Carter Hutton had won eight consecutive games until losing on Thursday, the penalty kill has been outstanding, left winger Jeff Skinner leads the team with 19 goals, and center Jack Eichel tops the Sabres with 25 assists.

On Friday night, on short rest, the Sabres will look to start a new streak ... against a desperate Panthers team.

Updated November 29, 2018

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