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Sabres Beat Up Panthers

Brian Holzinger scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Derek Plante had a power play goal early in the third as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Florida Panthers 5-2 Sunday night.

With the win, Buffalo extended its unbeaten streak to five games, while Florida had its six-game home unbeaten streak ended.

The Panthers, who were looking for their first four-game winning streak this season, fell three points behind Buffalo for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Buffalo's Michael Peca added his 11th goal of the season on an open-net score with 36 seconds left in the game.

After Ray Whitney's 20th goal drew the Panthers even at 2 at 9:17 of the second, Holzinger skated untouched into the slot and beat John Vanbiesbrouck to the glove side with a back-hander at 14:27.

A double-minor to Jeff Norton for sticking Miroslav Satan in the face resulted in Plante's power-play goal at 1:45 of the third period. Plante converted a give-and-go pass from Jason Dawe and lifted it over Vanbiesbrouck to stake Buffalo to a 4-2 lead.

Following first-period rebound goals by Donald Audette and ex-Panther Jason Woolley, Florida scored its first two-man advantage goal of the season and then again just 37 seconds later.

The Panthers, energized after killing off a two-man advantage for 1:49, clicked on their own two-man advantage when Radek Dvorak flicked the puck off Darryl Shannon's skate and past Dominik Hasek, who finished with 29 saves.

As the second Sabres' penalty elapsed, Whitney converted a pass from Kirk Muller and slipped it through Hasek's legs.

Audette scored his 11th goal in 12 games against Florida when he stuffed in a rebound of a slapshot by Michal Grosek at 9:20 of the first.

Woolley, who played for the Panthers for parts of the last three years, scored a power-play goal when he swatted in a rebound of Peca's slapshot at 12:43 for a 2-0 lead. The Sabres had scored just two goals in their previous 30 power-play attempts over the past seven games.

Vanbiesbrouck played in his 700th career game.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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