Lackluster Performance Leads To Bolts OT Loss

The Buffalo Sabres came into Amalie Arena on Wednesday night & beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in overtime on a power play goal by Right Wing Jason Pominville.  The win was the Sabres second win over the Lightning this season.

For the first 10 minutes of the game, neither team put up great scoring chances but the Sabres had the shots on net advantage 7-3.  That shots on net advantage lasted nearly to the five minute mark, which is when the Lightning got their best scoring chance in the first 15 minutes when Defenseman Braydon Coburn took a shot from the left point.  But Sabres Goalie Chad Johnson was able to see through the crowd in front of the net & pushed the shot aside.

That scoring chance came right before the game's first penalty was called when Center Cory Conacher was called for hooking.  But the Lightning were able to kill that penalty without any damage.  And on his next shift, Conacher followed up on a rebound from a shot from the right point by Defenseman Dan Girardi.  Conacher was left alone in front of Johnson, made one move & buried the shot into the net, recording his seventh goal of the season & giving Tampa Bay the lead.

The Conacher goal came with just under two minutes left in the first period but before the Lightning could go into the locker room with that lead, Vasilevskiy made a strong save on Pominville.

For the period, Buffalo outshot Tampa Bay 11-6.  And both teams went without a shot on goal until nearly three minutes were gone in the second period, when Lightning Defenseman Braydon Coburn took a shot on a odd-man rush.  But Johnson saw it clearly & was able to take the shot into his chest & swept aside the rebound.  

The shots from both teams were scarce in the second period, with only one from each.  That was until about the 11 minute mark when both teams scoring chances picked up.  The Sabres mounted the most pressure with multiple scoring chances coming after a giveaway by Defenseman Victor Hedman.  The shots included a deflected shot by Center Scott Wilson, which Vasilevskiy was able to redirect to the corner.  Keeping the zero up for the Sabres on the scoreboard & the puck out of the net was enough for the crowd to serenade the Lightning goalie with a chant of "Vasi-Vasi."

The remaining minutes in the second period was scoreless & went without any penalties.  For the period, Buffalo won the battle of shots on goal again, outshooting Tampa Bay 9-6.  And the third period started like the previous periods with no real scoring chances.  Both teams registered a shot on goal in the first five minutes but both goalies were able to glove the long range shots.

Buffalo drew the second penalty of the game when Lightning Center Yanni Gourde was called for hooking but again Tampa Bay was able to kill that power play.  Eventually the Lightning went on their first power play of the night, but even after getting multiple shots on net during the two minute advantage, the Lightning were not able to add to their 1-0 lead.  And the best scoring chance of the power play may have come from the Sabres penalty killers, when Center Jacob Josefson came into the Lightning zone & caught Vasilevskiy out of the net.  But before Josefson could make it around the net & finish his move with a goal, the Lightning goalie scrambled back to the net & was able to get his stick out to stop Josefson's scoring attempt.

Two minutes after nearly tying the game up at one, Buffalo got the game-tying goal when Lightning Defenseman Andrej Sustr had trouble getting the puck out of their zone & Sabres Center Evan Rodrigues put a wrist shot past Vasilevskiy just inside the post.  

New Lightning Center JT Miller picked up penalty for tripping with over five minutes left in regulation & Tampa Bay killed off that Buffalo man advantage.  But with less than 30 seconds left in the game, Lightning Left Wing Adam Erne layed a hit on Left Wing Johan Larsson near the boards & was called for an illegal check to the head.  And the Sabres took the man advantage into overtime & converted on the power play when Pominville drilled a slapshot through Vasilevskiy's pads, giving the visitors the come from behind overtime win.

The Lightning will try to get back in the win column when they take a quick road trip to Dallas to take on the Stars on Thursday night.  Coverage begins 970 WFLA at 8 pm.



1. TBL - Conacher (Girardi, Gourde) - 18:03




1. BUF - Rodrigues (Pominville) - 11:47


1. BUF - Pominville (Ristolainen, O'Reily) - 1:26



1. TBL - Conacher (Hooking - 2 Mins) - 14:42




1. TBL - Gourde (Hooking - 2 Mins) - 4:57

2. BUF - Falk (Slashing - 2 Min) - 8:06

3. TBL - Miller (Tripping - 2 Min) - 14:53

4. TBL - Erne (Illegal Check to the Head - 2 Mins) - 19:40


1. TBL - Vasilevskiy (Misconduct - 10 Mins) - 1:26


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