Stumpel scores pair as Panthers beat Sabres

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Jozef Stumpel had a great day.

Stumpel was named to the Olympic team for Slovakia and then
scored two goals to help the Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 4-1 on
Thursday night.

"It's exciting and maybe it gave me a lift," said Stumpel, of
making the Turin roster. "It was great to get a couple goals."

The victory snapped the Sabres' seven-game winning streak and
ended goalie Martin Biron's 13-game winning streak.

The Sabres, who were last beaten by San Jose 5-0 on Dec. 2, had
also won nine consecutive road games, one short of the league
record set by the Sabres in 1983-84 and matched by the St. Louis
Blues in 2000 and the New Jersey Devils in 2001. Buffalo last lost
on the road in Ottawa, 6-1, on Nov. 12. The loss to the Senators
was Biron's last defeat.

"I made a mistake on their second goal to give the puck up on
the wall," Biron said. "I'll take the blame for that. They
created the chances and created more opportunities and they got the

Rostislav Olesz and Olli Jokinen also had goals for Florida and
Roberto Luongo had 27 saves. Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo and
Biron had 26 saves.

Florida took a 4-1 lead during a five-on-three power play on
Jokinen's shot from the right circle at 15:38 of the third period.

"We played a solid 60 minutes," Jokinen said. "In the second
we took over the game and gave up a freak goal but we played smart
and held the lead."

The Sabres scored a power-play goal at 16:49 of the second
period on Campbell's slap shot from the point that deflected off
the stick of Vanek that closed the gap to 3-1.

"I gave up that goal where the guy (Vanek) tipped it in the
slot," Luongo said. "I thought tonight was probably our best game
of the year. A complete effort in every aspect of the game."

The Panthers scored three times in the second period. They took
a 3-0 lead on a short-handed goal by Stumpel at 11:56. The
Panthers' Lukas Krajicek cleared the zone and Stumpel beat Jason
Pominville to the puck. His slap shot went over Biron's shoulder.

Olesz made the score 2-0 at 3:17. A shot from the point by
Jokinen was blocked but Olesz was there for the rebound and poked
in the puck.

Stumpel's first goal came at 1:27 and gave Florida a 1-0 lead.
Joe Nieuwendyk passed the puck across the front of the crease to
Stumpel, who was waiting on Biron's left. Stumpel's shot beat Biron
on the glove side.

"We are definitely disappointed," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff
said. "Our execution wasn't very good."
Game notes
The Panthers have won four of their past five games. ...
Buffalo had won 15 of its past 17 games. ... Stumpel had two goals
in a game for the first time this season.