The Florida Panthers played the final home game of their 24th season as an NHL franchise and beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. Shawn Thornton participated in his 705th and final game in the National Hockey League. He is expected to retire and join the Panthers organization in an unknown capacity.
After no scoring during the first, Florida(34-36-11) scored first at the 7:45 mark of the second period. Thomas Vanek had the puck on the left wing and passed ahead to Nick Bjugstad. He snapped a shot from the left circle past Robin Lehner for his seventh goal of the campaign.
The Panthers added another goal on the power play with 2:57 left in the frame. Jonathan Marchessault and Jaromir Jagr took initial shots from the slot area before Jonathan Huberdeau backhanded the puck between his legs while in the blue paint for the score.
In the third period, Buffalo(33-36-12) surrendered a tally at 5:55. Jagr stole the puck away from Josh Gorges in the right corner and pushed it to Huberdeau. He skated around the Sabres cage, backhanded the puck to the crease and went into the net off a defender. It was the second goal of the game for Huberdeau and tenth of the year.