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Panthers snap five-game losing streak with victory vs. Sabres

Matthew DeFranks, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Hockey

The Panthers had 15 shots on goal in the second period alone on Friday night.

The Sabres threats came few and far between. But Luongo came up big in the third period, making a huge save on Sam Reinhart that kept the game tied.

With the win, Luongo passed Curtis Joseph for sole possession of fourth place on the all-time wins list. Luongo now has 455 victories.

Through the Panthers' first month under new coach Bob Boughner, the losses have come in a variety of ways.

They've masked themselves in decent performances against the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. They've come in debacles against Tampa Bay and Columbus that saw Florida allow 15 total goals. They've even come despite Herculean efforts from their stars (like a 10-point effort from the top line against the Lightning) and their goaltenders (like Luongo's 45-save game against the Hurricanes).

"It's been a rollercoaster," Boughner said before Friday's game.

The first two games of the Panthers' current road trip looked to be the vaccine for whatever ailed them. Carolina lost four straight games before playing the Panthers. Florida was the only team in the Eastern Conference with fewer points than Buffalo. The Panthers collected two points in the two games. They play New Jersey on Saturday night.

A loss on Friday night would have tied the longest losing streak from a season ago for the Panthers, a six-game skid down the stretch last year.

"We're just really looking for that one game to get us back on track," Boughner said. "I believe it's going to happen. So do the guys."

(c)2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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