When the Florida Panthers rolled into Buffalo, they had the 29th ranked power play in the league, had gone two full games without scoring a goal, and were essentially out of contention for a playoff position.
But a desperate team with nothing to lose is just as dangerous as one racing for a postseason berth, as Lindy Ruff will always attest to.
The Panthers must have felt even more desperate when Buffalo scored only 1:23 into the game. After multiple Sabres crashed the net following a shot on Tomas Vokoun, who subsequently tumbled into the net, Jason Pominville finally pounded it through for his 19th goal of the year.
Turnovers would be a problem for Buffalo throughout the contest, the worst of which coming less than three minutes after their initial goal. The Sabres coughed up the puck in their own zone after trying to carry it out, and Sergei Samsonov picked it up. The Florida left-winter fired a backhand past Ryan Miller to finally end his team’s scoring drought after going over six periods without a goal.
Towards the end of the first period, Florida’s David Booth took a puck to the face off a Buffalo shot. Booth first went to the bench simply to sit down, but eventually was examined by the team trainer and then a Sabres doctor. He would not return for the rest of the game.
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