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Florida Panthers GameDay

GameDay No. 2: Lines, Betting Odds for Panthers at Sabres



panthers islanders
Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Lomberg celebrate the Florida Panthers 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres with goalie Spencer Knight on April 3. The victory clinched a playoff spot for the Panthers — making them the first team in the NHL to do so. // AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

The Florida Panthers will have an early wakeup call Saturday with more than a couple of players grabbing a cup of coffee at the Tim Hortons on their walk to the Sabres arena in Buffalo.

The two teams will play a Saturday afternoon matinee in Game 2 of the 2022-23 season.

”Sometimes, it’s nice just to get up and go play and not think about it all day,” Sam Bennett said.

On Thursday, both opened up with nice wins; Florida beat the host New York Islanders 3-1 and Buffalo dropped the visiting Senators 4-1.

“It definitely feels good to get off on the right foot,’’ Bennett said after Friday’s afternoon workout at KeyBank Center.

“We played a full 60 minute game there. It is good for team chemistry and team confidence — we have a lot of new guys and a new coaching staff — so to start with a win is big for our group.”

Florida coach Paul Maurice expressed at least a little concern coming out of the preseason that injuries and the like prevented the team from icing its full team in any game prior to the opener.

While there were some hiccups on Thursday, the Panthers looked like a pretty cohesive group against the Islanders.

“They fit in great and didn’t seem like new guys,” Bennett said. “We all gelled well, found ways to generate chances and opportunities as we’re still learning the systems. It was a great game overall.’’

— Even though former Panthers’ goalie — and Parkland resident – Craig Anderson was lights out in the Sabres’ opener on Thursday night, Eric Comrie is expected to get the start on Saturday.

Maurice knows Comrie well as the two were together in Winnipeg last season as well as in previous seasons.

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Comrie signed a two-year deal with the Sabres in July.

Spencer Knight, who helped the Panthers officially clinch their playoff spot in Buffalo last season, may get the call for Florida with Sergei Bobrovsky (31 saves on Thursday) back Monday in Boston.

Maurice did not disclose who would get the net.

UPDATE: On Saturday morning, Maurice confirmed Knight will start.



  • When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
  • Where: KeyBank Center; Buffalo, N.Y. 
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM HD-2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • DraftKings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-190); Puck line (-1.5, +125); Over/Under 7 (+110/-130)
  • Last season: Florida won 3-0
  • All-time regular season series: Buffalo leads 52-46-5, 4 ties


23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov // 13 Sam Reinhart

19 Matthew Tkachuk // 9 Sam Bennett // 38 Rudolfs Balcers

27 Eetu Luostarinen // 15 Anton Lundell // 6 Colin White

94 Ryan Lomberg // 21 Nick Cousins // 70 Patric Hornqvist

42 Gus Forsling // 5 Aaron Ekblad

18 Marc Staal // 62 Brandon Montour

28 Josh Mahura // 7 Radko Gudas

30 Spencer Knight

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: None

Injured: Anthony Duclair (LTIR), Matt Kiersted (LBI), Zac Dalpe (UBI), Justin Sourdif (UBI)


53 Jeff Skinner // 72 Tage Thompson // 71 Victor Olofsson

22 Jack Quinn // 37 Casey Mittelstadt // 89 Alex Tuch

19 Peyton Krebs // 24 Dylan Cozens // 77 John Peterka

28 Zemgus Girgensons // Rasmus Asplund // 21 Kyle Okposo

23 Mattias Samuelsson // 26 Rasmus Dahlin

25 Owen Power // 10 Henri Jokiharju

78 Jacob Bryson // 46 Ilya Lyubushkin

31 Eric Comrie

41 Craig Anderson

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