The Buffalo Sabres came in reeling. The Tampa Bay Lightning were playing at home and scored early. Looked like a sure Tampa Bay win, right? That’s why they play the games. After an early hiccup, Ryan Miller was outstanding in leading the Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Lightning Tuesday night in front of another sellout crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Miller finished with 30 saves.
The Lightning got off to a fast start. Just 1:24 into the game, Steven Stamkos took a feed from Teddy Purcell and beat Miller to give the Bolts an early 1-0 lead. Stamkos has now scored in 6 consecutive games. Buffalo responded on a goal by Cody Hodgson past Mathieu Garon midway through the first period to tie the game at 1-1. The goal came after, what else, a Lightning turnover in their own zone. The Bolts were 0 for 2 on the power play in the first period, which ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Lightning were given multiple opportunities on the man-advantage in the 2nd period and could not cash in. Tampa Bay even had a 5-on-3 power play for 46-seconds and came up empty. Miller did make some nice saves but the Bolts ran into some bad luck too, including Stamkos hitting the post on a shot attempt. Tampa Bay had a few other scoring chances but they were denied by Miller. The Bolts were 0 for 3 on the power play in that second period.
The Sabres took the lead just 52 seconds into the third period when Tyler Myers scored. As you might have guessed, it came off a turnover. Miller made some superb saves in the 3rd period on Cory Conacher and Ben Pouliot. The Bolts outshot the Sabres 12-6 in the third period, but they finished 0 for 6 on the power play.
On top of the loss, the Lightning lost defenseman Sami Salo to a “lower body injury” in the second period. The team doesn’t believe it’s a serious injury but he will be re-evaluated on Wednesday. The Bolts now hit the road to begin a tough 4-game road trip, which begins Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. Catch the game on 970 WFLA beginning at 6:30pm.