Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/3/13
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Brian Campbell has plenty of fond memories from his playing days in Buffalo. He added another memorable moment Sunday, this time as a visitor. Playing against his former team, Campbell led the Florida Panthers to a 4-3, comeback victory over the Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Campbell scored the game-winning goal with 10:33 left in the third period as the Panthers stormed back from a 3-1 deficit. It was a welcome change of pace for Campbell, who admitted that he's struggled some in games in Buffalo since leaving the team in 2008. "I don't play very good here a lot of times, I find," Campbell said. "It's just weird ... but definitely, it's always fun. I love coming back here, and I still have friends here, and to score a game-winner is great in this building. A lot of good times here, a lot of good memories." On the winning goal, Campbell found himself with plenty of net to shoot at after Tomas Kopecky tried to deke in front of the Buffalo net. The puck found its way to the defenseman inside the left circle, and Campbell scored his fourth goal of the season. George Parros and Peter Mueller scored in the second period to erase Buffalo's two-goal lead. Shawn Matthias also scored for Florida (3-5-0). It was Florida's second comeback win in a row. On Thursday, the Panthers overcame a 3-2 deficit against the Winnipeg Jets with five goals in the third period en route to a 6-3 victory. "We're starting to come (together) as a team a bit more now and have faith in coming back," Campbell said. "Earlier in the season, we didn't really have a whole lot of faith and confidence, but now we're starting to see our team develop, and now with a bunch of pieces back in the mix, it looks like we can do what we did last year and be successful." Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said, "A little snapshot of our team this year, but I think we're certainly understanding how we have to play to have success. It's nice to work hard and get some points." Florida goalie Jose Theodore made 17 saves, including a key stop on a breakaway after the Sabres went up 3-1. The Sabres (3-5-1) couldn't take advantage of another tremendous effort from forward Thomas Vanek, who leads the NHL in points with 19 after picking up one goal and two assists Sunday. Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer also scored for the Sabres. Ryan Miller had 29 saves in the Buffalo net. "It's tough," Vanek said. "It's a game we had right where we wanted, 3-1, lots of chances to make it 4-1. You give away two points." Vanek opened the scoring 2:46 into the game after some pretty passing by the Sabres. Vanek buried a wrist shot past Theodore after receiving a no-look, between-the-legs pass from Pominville. Florida answered at the 8:36 mark with a Matthias blast following a faceoff win in the Buffalo zone. Vanek set up Buffalo's second goal with some nifty stick-handling in the Florida zone. Vanek deked past Campbell before finding Hodgson, who had an easy tap-in in front of the net at the 13:41 mark of the first period. Sulzer, on a pass from Vanek, increased Buffalo's lead to 3-1 with a slap shot from the point 3:49 into the second period. The Sabres had several chances to increase their lead to 4-1 later in the second, including a breakaway from Tyler Ennis. But Buffalo kept Florida in it, and eventually the Panthers made the Sabres pay. "We had our opportunities in the second period to put them away," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had the breakaway. We had three or four point-blank opportunities." Parros cut Buffalo's lead to 3-2 with a wrist shot that went through Miller's legs halfway through the second period. Mueller tied the game at 3-3 just before the end of the second period. With Miller out of the crease after a puck bounced off the boards behind the net, Mueller corralled the rebound and put his backhand opportunity into the open net. The Panthers dominated the flow of play in the third period leading up to Campbell's goal. Florida outshot Buffalo 13-4 in the third. NOTES: Sabres defenseman Andrej Sekera missed the game after suffering a lower-body injury against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Sekera is not expected to miss a significant amount of time. Fellow defenseman Robyn Regehr (lower body) also missed the game but is expected to return soon. ... Florida's Stephen Weiss returned to the lineup after missing four games with a groin injury. He had an assist. ... Panthers defenseman Filip Kuba played in his 800th NHL game. ... Sunday's game wrapped up the third of nine sets of back-to-back games for the Sabres. ... This was the 73rd meeting between the two teams. Buffalo holds a 42-26-5 advantage.
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