SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The surging Florida Panthers are edging closer to a playoff spot.
Aleksander Barkov scored his 24th goal of the season, James Reimer made 24 saves in his first start in six games and Florida beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Friday night.
The Panthers have won five straight and are 12-3-0 in their past 15. They moved within one point of Columbus and Carolina for the second Eastern Conference wild card.
Colton Sceviour, Aaron Ekblad and Mike Matheson also scored for the Panthers. Evgenii Dadanov and Nick Bjugstad each had two assists.
“We’re having a heck of a run here,” Bjugstad said. “Anything can happen at the end of the year. A spark has been lit here.”
Reimer filled in admirably for Roberto Luongo, who has won four straight but was given the night off in the second of back-to-back games.
“He was sharp,” Panthers coach Bob…