Thomas Vanek scores twice, Ryan Miller stops 22 shots, Sabres beat Panthers 3-0

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Buffalo Sabres are at home on the road.

Thomas Vanek scored two goals, and Ryan Miller made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Sabres' 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

Jason Pominville added a goal and an assist for the Sabres.

Buffalo has five wins in its first six games and is undefeated in four road games. Buffalo, which opened 4-0 on the road two years ago, travels to Tampa on Saturday to finish up its trip.

Miller shut out Florida after making a season-high 40 saves Tuesday night in a 3-1 victory in Montreal.

"I thought that was probably our best game of the year when it comes to supporting the puck, coming out together, coming out with speed," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

"We owed (Miller) one, so I thought that was important, too, for the way we played in Montreal. I thought that last 40 minutes and especially when leading we stayed away from any of the odd-numbered stuff and we were going to make Florida earn something if they were going to get it."

The Panthers never really mounted much of a scoring threat, and only managed six shots in the final period. After scoring seven goals at Tampa on Oct. 17, the Panthers have not scored since.

"That's six periods in a row, where we had little snap shots, but we're a long way from where we were (a few) days ago," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said.

Jose Theodore made 35 saves for Florida.

Buffalo opened the scoring at 2:33 of the second period. Pominville took a shot from the right circle that Vanek deflected into the net. Vanek has at least a point in each game this season.

"When the puck is going in, you don't think as much as you just let go," Vanek said.

The Sabres stretched the lead to 2-0 later in the second. Ville Leino passed from the left of the net across to Pominville in front and he poked the puck past Theodore with 3:04 left.

"That second one was a good play by Ville. I drove the net and he was able to find me," Pominville said.

Vanek's slap shot during a power play went over Theodore's shoulder with 2:29 left in the third.

"I looked up and down and over, I had a lot of time. I knew if I could just pump it and get him down, I'd get it over his glove," Vanek said.

The Panthers have only had 42 shots on goal in their past two games.

"Jose (Theodore) stood on his head at times in the first period," Florida's Kris Versteeg said. "I'm not saying the effort wasn't there but we have to do a little more to assist him. There's a lot of skill over there (Buffalo) but we gave them way too much respect."

NOTES: The Sabres previous best start was 5-0-1 in 2008-09. ... Buffalo C Jochen Hecht, who hasn't played this season, was scratched because of a concussion. ... Florida D Ed Jovanovski missed the game because of a hip injury.



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