SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice and James Reimer made saves to help Florida beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night in the Panthers’ home finale.
Nick Bjugstad also scored, and Jaromir Jagr had two assists.
The shutout was the second this season for Reimer, who also blanked the Chicago Blackhawks in a 7-0 home victory two weeks ago.
Robin Lehner had 34 saves for the Sabres.
Huberdeau scored his ninth goal on the power play at 17:03 of the second period after the Sabres — the top club on the man-advantage — failed to score on a pair of power plays earlier in the period.
Marchessault started the play by bringing the puck into the offensive zone and making a slick inside move toward Lehner past defenseman Justin Falk, but Marchessault’s shot was stopped, then Jagr put a rebound shot on goal, which fell behind Lehner.
Huberdeau slipped in behind the goalie and backhanded the puck in just before the goal came off its moorings for a 2-0 lead.
Huberdeau added his second goal of the game when his blind backhanded shot to the right of Lehner banked in off the skate of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen at 5:55 of the third period.
In a scoreless game near the game’s midway point, Bjugstad, who entered with just 12 points in 52 games, took a pass from Vanek off the boards and moved in on Lehner, who attempted to lock down the short side by leaning near the post.
However, Bjugstad slipped a shot from below the left circle past Lehner for his seventh goal at 7:45 for a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: The Sabres started their league-high 19th set of back-to-back games. The Sabres are 8-8-3 in the first game and 6-11-1 in the second game this season. … Buffalo scratched LWs William Carrier, C.J. Smith and Marcus Foligno, plus Ds Cody Franson and Taylor Fedun, and G Anders Nilsson. … Florida LW Shawn Thornton played in his final NHL game. Thornton, 39, is the only player in the league’s post-expansion era to play in over 700 NHL games and 600 AHL games – 705 and 605, respectively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will take a position within the Florida organization. Thornton will not play on Sunday against Washington. … C Michael Sgarbossa (lower body) was injured in the second period and did not return. … Florida scratched Ds Aaron Ekblad, Jakub Kindl and Jason Demers, plus Fs Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen, and G Roberto Luongo.
Sabres: At Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Panthers: At Washington on Sunday.
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