Both teams were scoreless until the 18 minute mark of the first period, when Derek Roy scored his seventh goal of the season with assists from Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis. The teams combined for only 12 shots on goal through the first 20 minutes.
Buffalo enjoyed four of the first five power plays of the night, but the Cats were able to kill each penalty. The Panthers got a power play of their own when Chris Ehrhoff was called for roughing at the 15:34 mark of the second period. Jochen Hecht was called for holding Stephen Weiss just 10 seconds later, setting up almost two full minutes of 5-on-3 action.
Florida would only need 14 seconds on the two man advantage to capitalize, with Jason Garrison scoring his ninth goal of the season with assists by Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg. It was Garrison’s first goal this season that was not aided by an assist from fellow defenseman Brian Campbell.
The two teams traded chances for the first five minutes of the third period, with Florida getting more shots on goal. In fact, Buffalo didn’t get their second shot on goal until there were only six minutes left in regulation.
At the six minute mark, Thomas Vanek was called for high sticking Tomas Kopecky. The Panthers followed with an eventful but ultimately fruitless power play, collecting three shots on goal with excellent rebound control.
Kopecky was called for hooking at the 14 minute mark, putting the Sabres on the power play. The Sabres kept pressure in the Panthers zone, but the Cats were able to keep Buffalo out of the net. Brian Campbell blocked two shots during his shift.
The ice opened up a little with four minutes remaining, with the two teams both keeping pressure on in the respective offensive zones, but the period ended with the teams tied up at one.
The overtime loss gives the Panthers one point, pulling them even with the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points.