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Luongo gets milestone win, Panthers beat Sabres 4-1

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Robert Luongo got a milestone victory and the Florida Panthers snapped a losing streak.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Robert Luongo got a milestone victory and the Florida Panthers snapped a losing streak.

Luongo broke a tie with Curtis Joseph for fourth place on the NHL career victory list with 455, making 24 saves in the Florida Panthers' 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

"It's obviously nice, but for me it's about getting wins and getting into the playoffs," Luongo said. "These accomplishments are for a rainy day when you're sitting at home and not doing much. But for right now, the focus is on getting some points in the standings and winning some games and getting into the playoffs."

Evgenii Dadonov and Aleksander Barkov each had a goal and an assist, and Ian McCoshen and Vincent Trocheck also scored to help the Panthers snap a five-game skid on the first night of a back-to-back set.

"It's been a while since we won one," Luongo said. "The first win is the toughest one to get coming out of a slump. We've just got to try to build on it and the great thing is we get to play against tomorrow night and hopefully try to make it two in a row."

Kyle Okposo scored for the Sabres, and Robin Lehner stopped 27 shots.

Buffalo is 4-4-0 in its last eight games after a 1-5-2 start but has yet to win consecutive games this season.

"We were coming off a really good game and we lay an egg for the last 40 minutes," Okposo said. "We just got to find a way to be more consistent."

McCoshen scored 3:50 into the third period on a wrist shot from the blue line that slid past Lehner's right skate.

Luongo's biggest save came with less than seven minutes left in the third period when he lifted his glove above his head to catch Sam Reinhart's shot from the high slot.

"He was amazing," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "We were better defensively tonight in front of him but when it was time to make the big save in the end he came up huge."

Dadonov tied it 6:52 into the second period, scoring his seventh of the season from his knees off the from Aleksander Barkov's shot.

Barkov and Trocheck scored into the empty net 17 seconds apart late in the third period. Trocheck has a goal in four straight games.

"I think we figured it out right now," Barkov said. "We need to play the same way we played this game and good things will happen."

Okposo gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead with 6:58 left in the first period when he deflected Victor Antipin's shot from the point past Luongo. The power play goal was the Sabres' second in nine games.

NOTES: The Panthers acquired D Ludwig Bystrom from the Dallas Stars on Friday in exchange for D Reece Scarlett. Bystrom was loaned to Springfield Thunderbirds. ... Sabres D Nathan Beaulieu returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. . Panthers D Mike Matheson (upper-body) got back on the ice after sitting out one game. ... Sabres D Josh Gorges missed his ninth game but skated the past two days and is ready to return, Sabres coach Phil Housley said. ... Sabres F Evander Kane had an assist on Okposo's goal and now has 16 points in 16 games. ... Panthers F Dryden Hunt made his NHL debut. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in March 2016. ... Luongo is 19-8-2 against Buffalo in his career.

UP NEXT:

Panthers: At New Jersey on Saturday night

Sabres: At Montreal on Saturday night.

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For more NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

Jonah Bronstein, The Associated Press



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