Game Day: Florida Panthers vs. Buffalo Sabres. Because There’s Always Just One More Day

FLORIDA PANTHERS: 2-5-0 (4 PTS.) vs. BUFFALO SABRES: 3-4-1 (7 PTS.)

GAME DAY SONG: Jackson Cage by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Head coach Kevin Dineen of the Florida Panthers said after the Panthers victory over Winnipeg that he’s looking forward to this four game road trip.  Dineen is looking for his Panthers to build on Thursday’s victory which snapped a five game losing streak, and hoping that the quality time together will help the Cats continue to find the chemistry that was so obvious last season.  The road trip starts today in Buffalo, then goes to Winnipeg, Philadelphia and finally Washington.  The Panthers will be facing a Sabres team who were slapped around by the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday by a score of 6-1.

In that game Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller gave up four goals on 21 shots in two periods and was replaced by Jhonas Enroth in the final period.  Buffalo was coming off a big victory over Boston on Thursday that saw the red hot Tomas Vanek pick up five points on three goals and two assists.  Saturday’s loss was Buffalo’s fifth in their last six games, and coach Lindy Ruff blamed it mostly on a slow start which was indicated by the fact that they had only one shot on goal in the first 20 minutes:

”We didn’t have our ‘A’ game right off the bat. We started in the second but it was too late,” Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. ”It’s a collective effort. You can’t point fingers at anybody.”

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Drew Shore Making An Early Impression

The Florida Panthers began the season picking up where they left off last year in the injury department.  Players like Marcel Goc, Sean Bergenheim, Erik Gudbranson, and Kris Versteeg all found themselves out of action on opening night.  Four games later, so was Stephen Weiss.  All five of these players were integral parts to the Panthers division championship title, and not having them in the lineup has put a significant amount of stress on the organizational depth chart.

Fortunately the Florida Panthers have some of the brightest prospects playing in their system, and Drew Shore has taken advantage of the opportunity he’s been given as one of the players the Panthers have called up.  Shore was originally drafted in the second round (44th overall) by the Panthers in 2009.  Playing for Denver in the WCHA, Shore put up some impressive numbers in two seasons, getting 23 and 22 goals respectively, while accumulating 54 assists in that time. He has good size at 6′ 3″ and 190 lbs, and he skates well, as he’s demonstrated so far with his ability to go into the corners, and get into traffic to create some scoring chances.  Something the Florida Panthers desperately need.

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