Lightning storm back for 5-3 win over Sabres

Tampa Bay scores three unanswered goals in the third to down the Sabres

Pat Malacaro
January 12, 2019 - 7:07 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


The Tampa Bay Lightning scored three unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Saturday night at KeyBank Center.

It took less than 30-seconds for the Lightning to take a 1-0 lead thanks to an offensive zone face-off win. Brayden Point's 29th goal of the year gave the visitors the lead. Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson were credited with the assists on the goal.

Sam Reinhart answered for Buffalo five minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Jack Eichel created a screen in front of Louis Domingue to help create the scoring chance. Jeff Skinner and Rasmus Dahlin assisted on the game-tying goal. 

The Sabres had a 5-on-3 power play for more than a half minute, but failed to score. Steven Stamkos and Yanni Gourde were both in the penalty box, giving the blue and gold the two-man advantage. 

Zemgus Girgensons and Tage Thompson combined on a 2-on-1 chance with just seconds to go in the opening frame, giving Buffalo a 2-1 lead. Thompson was credited with his sixth goal of the season, with Girgensons and Vladimir Sobotka assisting on the goal. The Sabres finished the first period with 16 shots, compared to just six for Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay evened up the score at 2-2 with a goal partway through the middle stanza after Mikhail Sergachev moved in from the point with the puck and fed Ondrej Palat in the slot. Sergachev and Victor Hedman were given the assists on the score.

That was the lone goal of the second period. Buffalo out-shot Tampa Bay 12-11 in the period as well, with neither team being called for a penalty. 

An odd-man rush by the Sabres nearly six minutes into the third period gave the team a 3-2 lead over Tampa Bay. Marco Scandella was on the receiving end of a Jason Pominville pass, giving the defenseman his third goal of the season. Pominville and Conor Sheary assisted on the goal.

The lead was short lived for the Sabres, as a turnover in Buffalo's zone resulted in a goal for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov was able to rip a wrist shot into the net from the slot. It was Kucherov's 22nd goal of the year. Stamkos was credited with the lone assist on the goal that made it 3-3 in the third period.

Stamkos' second point of the night resulted in his 24th goal of the season and gave Tampa their first lead since the opening period. It came with each team a man down. Sergachev was serving a double minor for high sticking, with Jack Eichel was penalized for elbowing. Ryan Callahan increased the lead to 5-3 for the Lightning with just over a minute to go in regulation.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 5:47 - Sam Reinhart (10) (Jeff Skinner, Rasmus Dahlin); 19:50 - Tage Thompson (6) (Zemgus Girgensons, Vladimir Sobotka)
TB: 0:26 - Brayden Point (29) (Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson)

Second Period:

TB: 7:50 - Ondrej Palat (6) (Mikhail Sergachev, Viktor Hedman)

Third Period:

BUF: 5:54 - Marco Scandella (3) (Jason Pominville, Conor Sheary)
TB: 6:17 - Nikita Kucherov (22) (Steven Stamkos); 14:44 - Steven Stamkos (24) (Nikita Kucherov, Viktor Hedman); 18:41 - Ryan Callahan (5) PP (Anthony Cirelli)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

TB: 3:17 - Braydon Coburn (Roughing - 2 min.); 10:57 - Steven Stamkos (Tripping - 2 min.); 12:25 - Yanni Gourde (Holding - 2 min.)

Second Period:


Third Period:

BUF: 13:27 - Johan Larsson (Cross Checking - 2 min.); 13:50 - Jack Eichel (Elbowing - 2 min.); 16:45 - Lawrence Pilut (Holding - 2 min.)
TB: 13:27 - Mikhail Sergachev (High Sticking - 2 min.); 13:27 - Mikhail Sergachev (High Sticking - 2 min.)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 33 (16, 12, 5)
TB: 30 (6, 11, 13)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 25 saves
TB: Louis Domingue - 30 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 4 (0%)
TB: 1 for 2 (50%)

Three Stars:

  1. Nikita Kucherov - TB
  2. Steven Stamkos - TB
  3. Sam Reinhart - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres head out on the road for their lone trip to Western Canada, beginning in Edmonton on Monday night. The puck drops at nine o'clock against the Oilers on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage with Brian Koziol begins at 8 p.m.

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