Sunrise, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson scored late in the third period to send Buffalo past Florida, 3-1, on Friday.
Rasmus Ristolainen supplied a second-period marker and Jhonas Enroth tied a career best with 44 saves for the Sabres, who won for just the second time in 12 outings this season (2-9-1).
Jesse Winchester provided the sole offense for the Panthers, who received 18 stops from Jacob Markstrom in their fifth loss in six contests.
Buffalo assumed the lead for good with 7:18 remaining in regulation. Christian Ehrhoff let a shot fly from the left point and Ott, providing an uncontested screen, was allowed to tip the go-ahead score past Markstrom.
The Panthers skated 6-on-5 for the last 71 seconds of the game, but Hodgson hit the empty net with 47 seconds to play.
Despite an 18-4 shot advantage to begin the contest, Florida's lone offense was generated on Winchester's redirection of a Bergenheim offering to finish off a 3-on-2 break and give the hosts a 1-0 lead with 6:02 left in the opening period.
Ristolainen's floater from the right point sailed through traffic cleanly and settled into the net on the far side with 6:28 remaining in the second.
"Ristolainen has a nice shot; he's got a good shot from the point," Buffalo head coach Ron Rolston said. "That was the difference tonight, as our offensive blueline work was better."
Enroth remained true on 16 second-period shots by Florida, then stopped 11 more in the final 20 minutes.
"The game was in doubt right until the final minute so I don't think we tightened up," Florida head coach Kevin Dineen said. "We continued to get scoring chances and the push was there. It's a hard loss for us."
GAME NOTES: Enroth made 44 stops in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 31, 2011 ... Buffalo featured four players who have yet to reach their 20th birthday in the lineup on Friday: Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen ... The last time the Sabres dressed four teens in one game was in 1982-83 when Dave Andreychuk, Paul Cyr, Phil Housley and Hannu Virta skated for Hall of Fame head coach Scotty Bowman.