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Florida Panthers 2, Buffalo Sabres 1, End Of First

It didn't take Buffalo long to stake a claim on the lead, opening the scoring at the 1:15 mark when Tyler Ennis (11) beat Jose Theodore between the pads on a feed from Drew Stafford. Marcus Foligno was awarded the secondary assist on the play.

Kris Versteeg didn't wait to make his mark on his first game back since missing his last nine due to injury, dropping the gloves to square off with Christian Ehrhoff in the Florida zone. Both were assessed five-minutes for fighting at the three minute mark.

Tomas Fleischmann was assessed a two minute minor at the 9:59 mark after losing an edge and accidentally dropping Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller. Fleischmann went to the dressing room and Wojtek Wolski served his time in the box.

Just 30 seconds into a lazy Buffalo power play, Christian Ehrhoff returned to the box for tripping John Madden. The teams would skate four on four as neither team gained a clear advantage before Florida enjoyed a short power play.

Buffalo had the Panthers hemmed in their own zone, peppering Theodore with three shots inside 10 seconds at the five minute mark.

Soon after, Florida would enjoy their first full two minute power play of the night as Alexander Sulzer broke Wolski's stick with a slash. On the ensuing action, Florida kept the puck in the offensive zone for most of the time, setting up a perfect shot as Mikael Samuelsson (11) beat Miller on a wrister. Tomas Fleischmann and Stephen Weiss earned the helpers on the play.

Two minutes later, John Madden (2) scored his second goal in as many nights after not getting on the scoresheet for nearly a full year, sliding an easy shot between Miller's pads for a Panther's 2-1 lead. Ed Jovanovski and Erik Gudbranson earned assists on the goal.

Hits: Sabres 13-12, (Four Sabres and three Panthers each had two hits)

Blocked Shots: Sabres 7-3 (Derek Roy and Justin Leopold had two blocks to lead the Sabres, as did Gudbranson for the Panthers)

Faceoffs: Panthers 9-7 (Marcel Goc has won three-of-seven so far, Tyler Ennis has one-of-six for the Sabres)

Shots on goal: Sabres 10-4 (Drew Stafford leads Buffalo with three, noone has more than one shot for the Panthers)

Score: Florida 2, Buffalo 1

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.