Jokinen's late power-play goal lifts Florida over Buffalo

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- With overtime approaching, Olli Jokinen and
the Florida Panthers took advantage of a late opportunity.

Jokinen scored a power-play goal with 1:07 remaining in the
third period, lifting the Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the
Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

He got the game-winner 17 seconds after Jochen Hecht was
penalized for hooking. Jokinen took the puck off the left board
near the circle, skated in on defenseman Henrik Tallinder and
goalie Ryan Miller and fired a low wrist shot into the net for his
second goal.

"I took it to the net, and sometimes it goes in," Jokinen
said. "We won, and that's the main point. Everybody is happy. It's
a better feeling than losing."

Mike Van Ryn had three assists and Roberto Luongo stopped 32
shots for the Panthers.

Jokinen's goal ruined what otherwise was a superb game by
Miller, who had 39 saves.

"Ryan just misplayed it," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "You
know we were in position to win the game before that, where we had
several big chances in the third to put them away but we didn't."

Buffalo's Daniel Briere scored twice, tying the score at 2 when
he wristed a shot from the high slot over Luongo's left shoulder
4:39 into the third period.

Second-period goals by Nathan Horton and Martin Gelinas gave
Florida a 2-1 lead. Horton scored his third goal at 7:12. He took a
pass from Rostislav Olesz, skated in on the left side, avoided
sliding defenseman Jay McKee and fired a shot past Miller.

"The line of [Joe] Nieuwendyk, Horton and Olesz was
outstanding," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "I think we had
15 scoring chances as a team and they had eight or nine chances."

The Panthers went ahead at 12:50, when Gelinas tipped in Van
Ryn's shot from the right point for his first goal.

Briere scored his fourth goal at 13:13 of the first period.
After Florida's Kristian Huselius turned over the puck in the
Panthers' zone, Buffalo's Jean-Pierre Dumont passed to Briere, who
stopped the puck and then fired past Luongo.

"I was out of position a little bit, maybe I should have stayed
back more in the crease," Luongo said. "I knew that I had to try
and keep them from getting the next goal. It was good that we came
back from [Thursday's 5-2 loss at Boston]. I feel we're back on
track again."

Game notes
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was at the game. ... Florida
scratches included center Chris Gratton, left winger Gary Roberts and defenseman Eric
Cairns. Buffalo scratched goalie Mika Noronen, defenseman Jeff Jillson and left winger
Andrew Peters. ... Buffalo's Thomas Vanek had six shots on net, and
Horton had five.