SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jaromir Jagr isn’t even thinking about retiring.
Jagr had three assists to pull into a tie for second place on the NHL’s career points list, Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck scored in the shootout, and the Florida Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Jagr pulled even with Mark Messier with 1,887 points, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (2,857). Jagr received a long ovation from the fans after tying Messier and acknowledged the crowd.
“When I retire, I’ll look back at what I did, maybe I’m going to think about it a little more, but right now I just enjoy every moment I get a chance to play in this league and try to do everything I can to stay in this league,” the 44-year-old Jagr said. “I love it so much. I know when I said I want to play until 50 everybody was laughing at me, but I’ll work every day to do it.”
Roberto Luongo stopped 33 shots, including both attempts in the shootout, to pull into a tie with Terry Sawchuk for fifth all-time in the NHL with 447 wins.
Nick Bjugstad had his first goal of the season, Keith Yandle also scored and Barkov had a goal and two assists for the Panthers.
The Panthers blew a 2-0 lead when the Sabres scored three consecutive goals.
“When you’re playing a game and all of a sudden you’re down 3-2, you don’t really think about that kind of stuff,” Jagr said.
The Panthers tied the game with 3:51 left in the third. Bjugstad, who missed 19 games with a broken hand, evened the score at 3-all when he swept in the puck from in front off a pass from Barkov, who got the puck from Jagr.
“We didn’t quit, we battled back, we tied it in the last five minutes and won it in a shootout,” Jagr said.
Jagr had his last three-point game on Nov. 19 against Ottawa.
“We’re really lucky,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said. “This doesn’t come around a lot. When you have two guys with Jagr, who is definitely going to be in the Hall of Fame, (Luongo) is going to be in the Hall of Fame, and to be able to watch it front row is a lot of fun.”
Rasmus Ristolainen and San Reinhart each had a goal and an assist for the Sabres. Evander Kane also scored and Robin Lehner made 36 saves.
Lehner has allowed a goal in all six shootout attempts against him this season.
“I keep working on them,” Lehner said. “Barkov is a good shooter. What can I say?”
With the score tied at 2, Ristolainen rifled a slap shot from the high slot that got past Luongo with 7:41 left in the third and put the Sabres ahead.
Ristolainen has three goals and 11 assists in his past 10 games.
“We get a huge goal to go up and then it’s just fighting and scratching and clawing to keep it out of our net,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. “They come up with a big goal and end up on the winning side of the shootout.”
Buffalo scored two goals 70 seconds apart in the second period.
Reinhart’s power-play goal made it 2-1 with 4:15 left in the second. Ristolainen shot from the blue line and Reinhart redirected the puck past Luongo.
Kane poked in a rebound in front of the crease with 3:05 left in the second to tie the game at 2.
Barkov’s goal gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 3:51 left in the first. Jagr passed to Barkov in the slot. Barkov’s initial shot was blocked by Lehner but Barkov grabbed the loose puck at the right side of the crease and poked the puck off Lehner’s left skate and across the goal line. Barkov has nine points in his last eight games.
Yandle made it 2-0 with a wrist shot from the point that got by Lehner on the glove side with 7:46 remaining in the second.
Luongo took a stick to the face from Buffalo’s William Carrier that dislodged his mask in the first minute of the third period but stayed in the game after a brief delay.
NOTES: Panthers C Jonathan Marchessault missed his third straight game and seventh of the past eight with a groin injury. … Former Panthers D Dmitry Kulikov made his first appearance in Sunrise since being traded to Buffalo in July. The Panthers played a video tribute to Kulikov midway through the second period. … The Sabres scratched D Justin Faulk and LW Nicolas Deslauriers.
Sabres: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
Panthers: Host Boston on Thursday night.
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