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Timely offense, sharp goaltending send Sabres past Panthers

Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson scored late in the third period to send Buffalo past Florida, 3-1, on Friday.

Rasmus Ristolainen supplied a second-period marker and Jhonas Enroth tied a career best with 44 saves for the Sabres, who won for just the second time in 12 outings this season (2-9-1).

Jesse Winchester provided the sole offense for the Panthers, who received 18 stops from Jacob Markstrom in their fifth loss in six contests.

Buffalo assumed the lead for good with 7:18 remaining in regulation. Christian Ehrhoff let a shot fly from the left point and Ott, providing an uncontested screen, was allowed to tip the go-ahead score past Markstrom.

The Panthers skated 6-on-5 for the last 71 seconds of the game, but Hodgson hit the empty net with 47 seconds to play.

Despite an 18-4 shot advantage to begin the contest, Florida's lone offense was generated on Winchester's redirection of a Bergenheim offering to finish off a 3-on-2 break and give the hosts a 1-0 lead with 6:02 left in the opening period.

Ristolainen's floater from the right point sailed through traffic cleanly and settled into the net on the far side with 6:28 remaining in the second.

"Ristolainen has a nice shot; he's got a good shot from the point," Buffalo head coach Ron Rolston said. "That was the difference tonight, as our offensive blueline work was better."

Enroth remained true on 16 second-period shots by Florida, then stopped 11 more in the final 20 minutes.

"The game was in doubt right until the final minute so I don't think we tightened up," Florida head coach Kevin Dineen said. "We continued to get scoring chances and the push was there. It's a hard loss for us."

Game Notes

Enroth made 44 stops in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 31, 2011 ... Buffalo featured four players who have yet to reach their 20th birthday in the lineup on Friday: Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen ... The last time the Sabres dressed four teens in one game was in 1982-83 when Dave Andreychuk, Paul Cyr, Phil Housley and Hannu Virta skated for Hall of Fame head coach Scotty Bowman.

10/25 23:32:03 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
CHR 3
DUR 0
 
Final
DET 4
CWS 7
Final
CHC 3
COL 1
Final
SDP 2
STL 6
5th
BAL 0
ANA 0
 
4th
WAS 0
PHI 3
 
4th
CLE 4
SEA 4
 
5th
MIA 1
CIN 0
 
1st
KAN 0
MIN 1
 
1st
HOU 0
TOR 0
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
CHR 3
DUR 0