BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots for his 67th career shutout, leading the Florida Panthers to a 1-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night for their first victory of the season.
Luongo moved past Patrick Roy into sole possession of 13th place on the career shutouts list. Luongo, who blanked the Sabres for the fourth time in his career, also extended his scoreless streak against them to 183 minutes, 19 seconds.
Sean Bergenheim scored in the second period for the game’s only goal, sending an odd-angled wrist shot betwee Mike Weber’s legs and past Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth.
Enroth finished with 34 saves for Buffalo.
The Panthers had the first six shots of the game before Buffalo went on a power play and forced Luongo into his first two saves of the night.
A giveaway in his own slot by Marcus Foligno gave Tomas Fleischmann a 1-on-1 with Enroth midway through the first, but the Sabres’ goalie made a right pad save to keep the game scoreless.
Luongo was called upon to make a pair of close-range shots on Matt Moulson early in the second.
Marcus Foligno had a wraparound attempt in the third period’s first minute, but Luongo slid over to stop the puck with his left pad.
The Sabres wasted a prime opportunity when they had a 5-on-3 power play for 49 seconds in the third period. Luongo made a pair of saves before Erik Gudbranson’s penalty expired, then three more by the time Chris Stewart ended the power play by taking down Upshall in the slot.
The game also marked the earliest season match-up between the NHL’s No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks from 1997, when Boston’s Joe Thornton and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau faced off.
Luongo, drafted No. 4 overall in 1997, began the day with a 1.93 goals against average, .938 save percentage in 19 career games against the Sabres.
The Sabres haven’t scored against Florida in 132:24, dating back three games to Jan. 21.
Florida has now won four straight games against the Sabres, and four straight in Buffalo.
The Sabres have lost all three home games to start the season after losing their first nine last season, a franchise worst.