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Sabres vs. Panthers Reaction: Quinn, Costly Penalties, & Reinhart Heroics



Buffalo Sabres Florida Panthers game recap

The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime in a hard-fought effort against one of the NHL’s best teams. A couple of close calls almost gave Buffalo the lead, but the Sabres couldn’t break the stalemate after the first period.

The Panthers dominated possession and shot attempts throughout the game, and the Sabres held strong until Florida abruptly ended things with 1:02 left in overtime.

Jack Quinn

If recent games are a sign, Jack Quinn is developing as one of Buffalo’s better offensive threats. We’ve seen the jump JJ Peterka has made in his second season, and his fellow draft class member is showing he’s not alone.

Injuries have inhibited Quinn’s season, but he’s showing that a Peterka-like development could be forming. He was Buffalo’s biggest threat in the offensive zone. He registered a goal and a shot that saw half the puck cross the goalline and stop.

Quinn’s development and health will be crucial to taking the Sabres to new heights next season. Yes, the roster will need some tinkering, but Quinn could help lead the charge by providing some secondary scoring.

Revisit: Jack Quinn Is Turning Around the Sabres

Costly Penalties

In a tie game late, two undisciplined penalties put the Sabres in very compromising positions against the Panthers. With 13:56 remaining in the third period, Connor Clifton was assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head on Nick Cousins. After confirming via review, Clifton was promptly ejected and the Sabres had a five-minute penalty to kill.

They successfully stymied the Panthers, but that was five minutes spent defending instead of attacking.

Then, with 34.9 seconds remaining, Tuch’s errant stick caught Sam Bennett up high. The penalty put Buffalo in a compromising position again, having to start overtime killing off a 4-on-3.

You can’t take those timely penalties and beat one of the league’s best teams and powerplays. They escaped the ensuing Panthers’ powerplays, but spent too much time on their heels in crucial moments.

Reinhart Heroics

Who else to end things in overtime but the Sabres’ old pal Sam Reinhart?

His career-best 55th goal of the season sent the Sabres home with only a point. The Panthers have so many threats, but the emergence of Reinhart as an elite goal-scorer has helped carry them all season.

A crazy-good shooting percentage plays a role in the offensive explosion. There’s also something to be said about the scoring areas Reinhart is getting to. I also remember the days he stayed on the ice with Ryan O’Reilly after practice to work on his shot.

The hard work paid off, as no one questions Reinhart as a shooting threat anymore.


For the Florida Panthers side of things, visit Florida Hockey Now.