SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are hoping a two-game winning streak is a sign of better things to come.
Nathan Gerbe scored his first two goals of the season, Ryan Miller made 38 saves and the Sabres beat the struggling Florida Panthers 4-3 in a shootout Thursday night.
Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville both scored in the tiebreaker for Buffalo. Jonathan Huberdeau and Peter Mueller missed their attempts for Florida.
Tyler Ennis also scored in regulation for the Sabres and Steve Ott had two assists. Buffalo has won two straight since losing four in a row and is 2-1 since Ron Rolston took over as interim coach when Lindy Ruff was fired.
"We'll take it. It's a step in the direction we need to keep going in," Rolston said. "We still have a big ceiling in terms of room for improvement for our team. Our mindset has to be to get back and be better again come Saturday night (at New Jersey)."
Brian Campbell, Marcel Goc and Drew Shore scored for the Panthers. Jose Theodore, who replaced Scott Clemmensen in goal with 3:14 left in the first period, stopped all 12 shots he faced.
The Panthers have lost eight of their past 10 games and six of seven at home, but have picked up a point in four of those losses.
"You probably feel like your fans do. There's a few games over last week where we ended up with one point and you leave the rink with a bad taste in your mouth," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "If you look at tempo, pace, and the way the game played out, we're not dissatisfied with the way we played the game."
Campbell tied it at 3 with a slap shot from the top of the left circle with 1:26 left in regulation after the Panthers won a faceoff.
All the other scoring came in the first period.
"It's frustrating not getting the two points," Campbell said.
With the score tied 2-all, Gerbe's second goal of the game, a wrist shot from the short side, reclaimed the lead for the Sabres and chased Clemmensen, who allowed three goals on 10 shots.