Sports Outside the Beltway

Outdueled- Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 6-2

The NHL’s hottest goalie(1.77 GAA) Ryan Miller this season looked very ordinary tonight. From AP-

Michael Frolik scored twice, Dominic Moore and Rostislav Olesz had a goal and an assist each, and Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves in the surging Florida Panthers’ 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.Frolik

Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman also scored for the Panthers (8-9-2), who have turned things around after a 2-7-1 start. Florida, which beat Buffalo for the first time in five games, is 6-2-1 in its last eight games.

Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur scored, and Ryan Miller made 18 saves for Buffalo (12-5-1), which was denied in its attempt to string together a four-game winning streak for the third time this season.

Stafford opened the scoring with his sixth goal with 5:37 left in the first period. Stafford skated toward the net from the lower portion of the right circle before lifting the puck over Vokoun, who was on his knees. Frolik tied it 4 minutes later, netting his fifth goal on a one-timer from the high slot.

Weiss gave the Panthers a 2-1 edge 1:21 into the second period. After stopping Frolik’s wrist shot, Miller swatted the puck right into Weiss, who deposited it into an empty net. Stillman upped Florida’s lead with his sixth midway through the third, converting a 2-on-1 with Steven Reinprecht, before MacArthur made it 3-2 with 5:43 to go in regulation with a power play goal.

Frolik, Olesz, and Moore iced the game with late third-period goals.

The Weiss goal was the turning point tonight. Miller made a stop and put down the puck. Weiss who was trailing on the play must have been shocked at such a opportunity handed to him.

Florida has been playing great of late with the exception of the back to back losses to Washington. No matter what I think of their goalkeeping, you can’t deny that the Capitals are among the best teams in the east.

Up next for Florida are road games against Detroit and the New York Rangers. I think the Panthers have never won in Detroit or just once. The team is playing better this year on the road(5-4-1 is their record when traveling) than at home. If they can get at least two points out of those games, I may modify my outlook on the Panthers 2009-10 season.

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