SUNRISE — For the second time in less than a week, the Florida Panthers used a dominating second period to take control of their game against the Buffalo Sabres — both times, working their way to a win.
On Sunday in Buffalo, the Panthers scored three in the second period; Friday night at FLA Live Arena, the Panthers scored twice in the second to tie the score before pulling away with a 4-3 win thanks to a nice pass from Sasha Barkov to Sam Bennett with 37.3 seconds left.
Florida, which had to rally from a two-goal deficit in the first period, has now won seven consecutive games at home and six straight overall.
The Panthers, 30-6-0 in Sunrise, swept the season series from the Sabres — outscoring them 24-11 in the process.
Friday, as was the case over the weekend in Erie County, the Sabres were giving the Panthers all they could handle.
Down 1-0, Florida tied the score when Claude Giroux scored off a Jonathan Huberdeau feed for his second goal in as many games for the Panthers.
Florida gave the lead back just 20 seconds later when old friend Mark Pysyk rolled up and rifled a shot off MacKenzie Weegar and through Sergei Bobrovsky.
Buffalo then made it 3-1 on a Jeff Skinner goal at 15:25 of the first.
Florida was outshot 13-12 in the opening period and did not look all that sharp.
That changed in the second.
The Panthers steamrolled the Sabres for much of the period, dominating possession and scoring changes, eventually putting two past Dustin Tokarski to tie the score going into the final 20.
Florida opened the scoring midway through the second when Patric Hornqvist got creative after Tokarski made another fine save; as Buffalo failed to clear the puck off a rebound behind the net, Hornqvist banked it in off the Buffalo goalie’s back.
Five minutes later, Sam Reinhart scored on his old teammates once more, knocking in Barkov’s shot from the high slot.
In the second alone, Florida outshot the Sabres 16-3 — had 15 scoring chances to the Sabres’ 1 and held a 6-0 advantage in high-danger chances.
— With the assist on the Giroux goal, Huberdeau extended his scoring streak to 10 games — making him just the second player in franchise history to have a pair of scoring streaks of at least 10 games in the same season.
Pavel Bure has scoring streaks of 13 and 11 games during the 1999-2000 season.
— Barkov now has a six-game, multi-point streak going.
— Due to a conflict with the Miami Marlins, Saturday’s game in Nashville will be broadcast on Bally Sports Sun — the usual cable home of the Miami Heat.
GR’S THREE STARS OF THE NIGHT
1. Sasha Barkov, Florida
2. Sam Reinhart, Florida
3. Sam Bennett, Florida