BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — After hitting goal posts all night, Brad Boyes and the Florida Panthers at last got a friendly bounce in the shootout.
Boyes' game-winning goal hit the left post before going off goaltender Jhonas Enroth and into the goal to give Florida a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
"Finally luck shifted a bit," Boyes said with a grin.
Boyes also scored in regulation, while Tim Thomas made 23 saves and was perfect in the shootout for Florida, which won on the road for the first time since Dec. 19.
The winner meant extra for Boyes against his former teammate Enroth.
"Being here and going against him in practice a lot, he was showing me glove," Boyes said. "He was kinda waving it to me like he was onto me and he knows where I go. I have trouble with guys that I played with so it was nice to get it on him. I like that one."
The Panthers carried much of the play, outshooting Buffalo 35-24, but the sound of puck on metal was on a loop. Tomas Fleischmann hit the goal post twice in the third period, and Drew Shore also put one off the pipe in the frame.
"It would've been nice if a few posts counted as a goal," said defenseman Brian Campbell. "If you hit eight posts, maybe you get a goal or something."
Jamie McBain scored for Buffalo, whose new general manager Tim Murray got a closeup view of the tough rebuilding job ahead of him and special adviser Craig Patrick, introduced earlier Thursday by team President Pat LaFontaine.
The Sabres squandered a 1-0 lead and wasted a strong performance from Enroth, who was named to the Swedish Olympic team on Tuesday.
"I wanted to go out there and show everybody that I earned it," Enroth said.
Enroth is 1-9-3 this season, but the Sabres have scored just 17 goals in his starts and been shut out thrice. He couldn't explain the lack of goal support.
"I'm running out of answers on those questions," Enroth said.
The loss ended a five-game home win streak for Buffalo, who is still 6-0-2 in its last eight at First Niagara Center.
Florida started the game well, with eight shots on Enroth in the first 4:35 of play. Thomas then stopped a one-timer from Brayden McNabb about five minutes into the game.
Buffalo had the game's first power play after an interference call against Ed Jovanovski, and Thomas made a sprawling save on Jamie McBain to keep the game scoreless.
"They got some great chances, some great looks," said Florida head coach Peter Horachek. "Timmy was rock solid, he kept us in the game."
After play was whistled dead because of a scrum in Florida's crease, John Scott tossed the puck in the net and received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Enroth saved a shot by Alexander Barkov on the ensuing power play and made 13 saves in the period as Buffalo was outshot by five.