For the Sabres: "That's all folks!"

Sabre season ends with 4-3 loss to Florida

April 07, 2018 - 10:31 pm

SUNRISE, Fla. (WBEN/AP) — The Florida Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, even after Vincent Trocheck scored late in the third period to help hold off the Buffalo Sabres 4-3.  The Sabres ended their season with the loss and Head Coach Phil Housley characterized it as "dismal" in his post game interview.

The Panthers' slim playoff hopes ended when Philadelphia beat the New York Rangers 5-0 earlier in the day. Florida took out its frustration on the Sabres, going ahead 3-0 in the first period en route to its franchise-record 27th home victory.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored a power-play goal for the Panthers. Colton Sceviour had a goal and an assist and Nick Bjugstad also scored.

James Reimer made 38 saves in place of Roberto Luongo, who had played three games in four nights, including his 1,000th game Thursday. The Panthers also played without points leader Aleksander Barkov, who injured his shoulder late in the third period in Thursday's game against the Bruins. Barkov will also miss Sunday's game at Boston.

Ryan O'Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo. Chad Johnson allowed three goals on 12 shots in the first period and was replaced to start the second with Adam Wilcox. Wilcox finished with 14 stops in his NHL debut.

The Sabres scored two goals 21 seconds apart late in the third period to make it 3-2. Pominville scored on a wrist shot with 4:30 left, and Reinhart scored shortly after.

Trocheck's empty-netter with 1:23 left made it score 4-2. O'Reilly's power-play tally with 15.8 left closed the gap to 4-3.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead when Huberdeau deflected in a shot from Trocheck during a 5-on-3 power-play at 3:04 of the first. Sceviour made it 2-0 when he deflected a shot by Frank Vatrano at 10:59. Bjugstad then slid a puck under Johnson at 13:39.

NOTES: Retiring Panthers F Radim Vrbata played his last game. Vrbata played 1,057 career games, including 42 with the Panthers. ... A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of the lives lost in a traffic accident Friday night involving the Humboldt Broncos, a youth hockey team from Canada.

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