Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jagr Ties Messier In Career Points

     Jaromir Jagr compiled three assists and tied Mark Messier for second all-time in NHL history with 1,887 points as the Florida Panthers returned home on Tuesday night and beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout at BB&T Center. Roberto Luongo tied Terry Sawchuk for fifth all-time with 447 wins as a goalie. The Panthers began a stretch in which they play eight of their next nine games at home.
     In the first period, Aleksander Barkov scored a goal with 3:51 left for Florida(14-14-5). Jason Demers sent a lead pass to Jagr on the right wing of the Sabres zone. Jagr made a cross-ice pass to Barkov in the high slot and he scored his eight goal of the year on a snap shot. The Cats outshot Buffalo 16-4 during the first period.
     Jagr pulled to one point behind Messier on a power-play goal by Keith Yandle at 12:14 of the second period. Jagr had the puck on the left wing and passed it to Yandle on the left point. He exchanged passes with Barkov at the blue line and then blasted a slap shot into the Sabres cage. 
     Buffalo(13-11-7) got two goals late in the second period to tie the contest. Rasmus Ristolainen fired a slap shot from the left point and Sam Reinhart redirected it by Roberto Luongo for a power-play goal at 15:48. The Sabres pounded the crease area as Brian Gionta slid a pass across the ice to Evander Kane in the blue paint for his sixth goal of the season with 3:05 remaining in the second.
     The Sabres took their first lead of the game with 7:41 left in the third period. Following a rebound, Reinhart carried the puck around the Panthers cage. He connected a pass to Ristolainen at the top of the zone and he nailed in a slap shot.
     Jagr tied Messier in career points with 3:51 left in the third period as he was credited with an assist. He fed a pass to Barkov in the low right circle. Barkov put the puck on net and Nick Bjugstad followed with his first tally of the season from the blue paint.
     Both teams went into the shootout and the Panthers scored on both their attempts. Vincent Trocheck slipped the puck in the five-hole and Barkov later lifted in a shot for the victory.

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