Tonawanda News — "We were able to get a couple point shots through there, that was big, and on both goals we had some good net presence," Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. "We were fortunate to get those two and the guys turned in a real good third."
Besides Ristolainen, the Sabres played three other players that are teenagers: Mikhail Grigorenko (19) Zemgus Girgensons (19) and Nikita Zadorov (18).
"They've done a good job. . I like where are young guys are right now and where they're going and where we're heading," Rolston said.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Winchester's goal in the first period. Sean Bergenheim passed from the left circle across to Winchester, who was able to tip in the puck high into the net at 13:58 for his second goal of the season. It was Bergenheim's first NHL point since April 26, 2012, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against New Jersey.
"It was a pretty simple play. I just drove the net and hit it out of the air," Winchester said. "It wasn't pretty, but it was great to see Bergy get in on it, especially so early on in the game."
Bergenheim played two games in Finland during the lockout last year, but has spent 18 months recovering from multiple surgeries on his abdomen, groin and hip.
The Panthers outshot the Sabres 18-4 in the first period, and led in shots 34-14 at the end of the second.
"There was a lot of hard work put into the game and there's no reward at all. There's no points," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "At the end of the day, we're all about the two points. On that one, it's not a good night."