Photo: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Pominville sends Sabres to 2-1 OT win in Tampa Bay

Evan Rodrigues picks up the game-tying goal in the 3rd

February 28, 2018 - 7:31 pm

Jason Pominville's first goal since January 9 couldn't have come at a better time. Pominville notched the game-winning, power play goal in overtime on Wednesday, lifting the Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Lightning in Tampa Bay. 

Tampa Bay carried a 1-0 lead for most of the game thanks to an early goal by Cory Conacher. Left alone in front of the Buffalo net, Conacher lifted the puck over Johnson for his seventh goal of the season and the 1-0 Tampa Bay lead.

A flurry of activity led to scoring chances for both teams in the second period, but both goaltenders were up to the task. Chad Johnson stoned Adam Erne with a spectacular pad save in the Sabres end, which was followed up by Evan Rodrigues ripping a one-timer off the crossbar and a couple of big stops by Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Tampa Bay goaltender came up with another incredible in the final period, diving to make a shorthanded stick save on Jacob Josefson who had a wide-open look at the Lightning net. 

The Sabres finally solved Vasilevskiy at 11:47 of the third period on Rodrigues' sixth goal of the season. Rodrigues kept the puck in the zone, maneuvered around defenseman Andrej Sustr and flicked a shot just inside the post, tying the game 1-1.

Pominville's winner came 1:26 into overtime, a power play goal made possible by Adam Erne's illegal hit to the head on Johan Larsson late in regulation. The man advantage carried over to the extra frame and Pominville cashed in, sending a one-time chance past Vasilevskiy for the 2-1 win. Tampa Bay argued goaltender interference (Vasilevskiy was actually hit with a 10 minute misconduct for throwing the stick following the goal), but to no avail.

Here's a recap of how the game unfolded:

Game Summary

Goal Summary:

First Period:
TB: 18:03 - Cory Conacher (7) (Dan Girardi, Yanni Gourde)

Second Period:

Third Period:
BUF: 11:47 - Evan Rodrigues (6) (Jason Pominville)

BUF: 1:26 - Jason Pominville (10) (PPG) (Rasmus Ristolainen, Ryan O'Reilly)

Penalty Summary:

First Period:
TB: 14:42 - Cory Conacher (2 min., hooking)

Second Period:

Third Period:
BUF: 8:06 - Justin Falk (2 min., slashing)
TB: 4:57 - Yanni Gourde (2 min., hooking). 14:53 - J.T. Miller (2 min., tripping). 19:40 - Adam Erne (2 min., illegal check to the head)

TB: 1:26 - Andrei Vasilevskiy (10 minute misconduct)

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 34 (11, 9, 10, 4); TB: 22 (6, 6, 10, 0)


BUF: Chad Johnson - 21 saves
TB: Andrei Vasilevskiy - 32 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 of 4 (25%)
TB: 0 of 1 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Jason Pominville - BUF
  2. Chad Johnson - BUF 
  3. Andrei Vasilevskiy - TB

What's Next:

The Sabres will stay in Florida to face the Panthers on Friday, looking to grab their third win in a row. It will be a 7:30 p.m. faceoff at BB&T Center. Hear all the action on WGR SportsRadio 550 with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. with the Bulldog.

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