SUNRISE, Fla. — Backup goalie Linus Ullmark couldn't save the Buffalo Sabres from a post-win streak letdown, as they lost to the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in overtime Friday night at BB&T Center.
Aleksander Barkov scored the winning goal 2:26 into overtime, and the Sabres lost back-to-back games for the first time since they were defeated in Las Vegas and San Jose on Nov. 16 and 18, respectively. Buffalo, 17-7-3 with 37 points, gained ground in the Atlantic Division despite playing poorly for much of the game.
The Sabres didn't have the same energy that helped them roar back to take the lead Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, only to have the streak halted with a 5-4 loss. Sam Reinhart and Jeff Skinner scored to back Ullmark, who made 40 saves. Evgenii Dadonov tied the score, 2-2, with 8:04 remaining in the third period, when he shot a rebound past Ullmark.
The Panthers, last place in the Atlantic Division at 11-10-4 and 24 points, outshot the Sabres, 42-24, including 14-6 in the first period. Florida hit the post twice in the first 20 minutes and had 12 more scoring chances than Buffalo during that span.
Skinner's 20th goal of the season, a one-timer on a 2-on-1 pass from Reinhart, gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 10:55 into the game. The Panthers answered almost eight minutes later with Jared McCan's power-play goal on a slap shot from the right point.
Buffalo regained the lead when Jack Eichel, who has a team-high 27 assists this season, set up Reinhart's go-ahead power-play goal 2:41 into the second period. Reinhart shot a bouncing puck over Panthers goalie James Reimer's shoulder.
Pominville leaves: Winger Jason Pominville left the game in the third period, when he was hit from behind by Florida defenseman Alexander Petrovic, who was called for a boarding penalty.
Goalie point: With an assist on Reinhart's goal, Ullmark became the 21st goalie in Sabres history to record an assist.
In the box: Housley wanted to avoid taking too many penalties. After all, that was the Sabres' undoing Thursday in Tampa Bay. The Sabres were called for two in the first period. Though they were able to kill off Rasmus Ristolainen's interference penalty, Florida capitalized after Rasmus Dahlin went to the box for hooking. Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson passed to the high right circle, where McCann shot a one-timer that deflected off a stick and over Ullmark's shoulder at 18:31.
27-7: The first period was Buffalo's worst in some time. The Panthers had 20 more shot attempts. Florida hit the post twice, and Evgeni Dadonov nearly deflected a puck past Ullmark moments before Skinner's go-ahead goal.
20: Tyler Ennis led the Sabres with 20 goals in 78 games during 2014-15. Skinner's achieved that milestone in only 27 games and joined Rick Martin (20 in 1972-73) as the only players in franchise history to score 20 goals before December. He's also the fifth player in franchise history to require 27 or fewer games to score 20, joining Martin, Danny Gare, Dave Andreychuk and Alexander Mogilny.
Injury updates: Prior to puck drop, the Sabres placed defenseman Marco Scandella (upper body) and winger Conor Sheary (upper body) on injured reserve. Additionally, forward Patrik Berglund was activated from injured reserve and defenseman Matt Tennyson was recalled from the Rochester Americans.
Defenseman Jake McCabe, who was limited to 7:29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of an injury Thursday night, is day to day, according to Phil Housley. As a result, defenseman Lawrence Pilut made his NHL debut against the Panthers, and Tennyson skated during warmups as insurance in the event of an injury.
Next: The Sabres have Saturday off in Nashville and will practice Sunday. They'll play the Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Monday at 8 p.m.