Spencer Knight is only in his second full season in the NHL, but the Buffalo Sabers must already be fed up with the Florida Panthers goaltender.
After beating the Sabers in all three meetings last season, Knight went undefeated in his brief career against Buffalo stopping 24 shots (including a block worthy of Jeff Skinner’s SportsCenter) as the Panthers earned a 4-game win. -3 at the KeyBank Center on Saturday. afternoon.
The three goals matched the most goals Knight had ever given up to the Sabers — he also gave up three on his other visit to Buffalo on April 3 — but the Panthers offense was in the mood to score a few goals during of a fun morning.
Florida managed to score twice on the power play in the second period to take a two-goal lead, a lead they never relinquished.
Tied at 2 after the first 20, Aaron Ekblad scored Florida’s first power-play goal of the season on a wrist shot from the right circle at 2:31 of the second.
The Sabers had a terrific chance to tie the score a few minutes later, but Knight absolutely robbed Skinner with a superb diving save to keep things where they were.
“I don’t really think about it,” Knight said afterwards, “it was just another stoppage.”
The Panthers made it 4-2 when former Buffalo defenseman Brandon Montour scored the second power-play goal with 2:15 left in the period.
At the time, the Panthers were 2-for-5 with the advantage, scoring on two of 13 power-play shots.
Florida finished the day 2-for-6 on the powerplay, though the Panthers’ new look continues to create a ton of chances.
The Sabers were 0-4 with the power play.
Buffalo came close to a goal on a fine shot from Rasmus Dahlin with 58.8 seconds left in the period, but the Panthers closed with a strong defensive position in the third that included an extended power play chance for the Panthers. Sabers.
Florida ended up outscoring the Sabers 7-5 in the third and 37-27 in the game.
Eric Comrie, making his first start for the Sabers, was solid throughout the game and kept it tight against a Florida team that was stealing all day.
The Panthers, who have scored the most games by scoring more than three goals since the 1993-94 season last year, have played two of those games so far.
The first period was a back-and-forth affair with Florida falling behind for the first time this young season when Alex Tuch flew past Marc Staal – who fell on the ice – and beat Knight at 10:35.
Florida responded four minutes later when Colin White got his first of the season by deflecting a shot from Eetu Luostarinen.
Colin White with a rocket!
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Tkachuk was called for brutality at 3:52 and the Panthers killed him with Tkachuk charging out of the box and into play; he hit his second of the season on a long shot from Gus Forsling to make it 2-1.
However, the Sabers quickly leveled things up, with Zemgus Girgensons scoring a fine pass from JJ Peterka with 1:09 left in the period.
THE THREE STARS OF THE GR GAME
1. Brandon Montour, Florida (winning goal)
2. Aaron Ekblad, Florida (power play goal)
3. Spencer Knight, Florida (winning goaltender)
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT BOSTON BRUINS
- When: Monday, 7 p.m.
- Where: boston garden
- Television/Broadcast: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panther Radio Broadcast: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Boston won 2-1
- All-time regular season series: Boston leads 58-36-6, 6 draws