Sabres drop season finale to Lightning 4-2

Buffalo finishes the season 33-37-12 with 78 points and last in the Atlantic Division

Brayton Wilson
April 10, 2017 - 9:50 am

Photo: Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

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The Buffalo Sabres close out the 2016-17 season on a low no with a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday afternoon at Amalie Arena.

The Sabres got out to the early lead at the 13:56 mark of the first period with a goal from William Carrier on a two-on-one rush that beat goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy over his right shoulder. With the primary assist on the goal, 2016 first round pick Alexander Nylander registered his first career NHL point. Zach Bogosian also registered an assist on Carrier's fifth goal of the season.

The Sabres led the game into the second period until the 5:59 mark when Lightning rookie Brayden Point scored his 17th goal of the season. Point beat his man, Evan Rodrigues, for positioning in front of Linus Ullmark in goal and got his stick on a pass from Victor Hedman for the goal. Hedman and Jake Dotchin were credited with the assists on the goal.

Nearly six and a half minutes later, Tampa takes their first lead of the game with a shorthanded goal from defenseman Braydon Coburn. Coburn jumped up with forward Vladislav Namestnikov to create a two-on-one rush into the Buffalo zone. With Dmitry Kulikov leaning towards Namestnikov, Coburn received the pass and quickly put it home for his fifth goal of the season. Alex Killorn was gived credit for the secondary assist on the goal.

In the third, the Sabres evened the score thanks to Evander Kane's 28th goal of the season. Sabres captain Brian Gionta found Kane streaking to the net uncovered and he tapped it in for the game-tying goal. Ryan O'Reilly was also credited with an assist on the goal.

However, the Lightning re-gained the lead with just 1:24 to play as Point scored his second goal of the game. Point was looking for a cross-ice pass to defenseman Luke Witkowski coming in from the point, but the pass re-directs off the skate of Rasmus Ristolainen and past Ullmark coming across to defend the pass. Point's 18th goal was assisted by Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman.

Hedman would add an empty net goal with 1-second left on the clock to give the Lightning a 4-2 lead and to close out their season on a high note.

The Sabres finish the 2016-17 season with a 33-37-12 record, 78 points, and have finished in last place in the Atlantic Division. The Sabres finish as the fifth worst team in the NHL this season, and currently hold the sixth pick in the 2017 NHL Draft before the Draft Lottery takes place later this month. Buffalo will have a 7.615-percent chance at winning the first overall pick, while having a 23.5-percent chance at winning a top-three pick in the NHL Draft.

 

First Period:

13:56 - SABRES GOAL - William Carrier rips a shot over the right shoulder of Andrei Vasilevskiy on a two-on-one rush with Evan Rodrigues. Alexander Nylander and Zach Bogosian register the assists on the goal.

 

End of Period

 

Goal Summary:

BUF: 13:56 - 1-0 Sabres - William Carrier (5) Assists: Alexander Nylander (1), Zach Bogosian (9)

TB: None

 

Penalty Summary:

BUF: None

TB: None

 

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 7, TB - 13

 

 

Second Period:

5:59 - LIGHTNING GOAL - Brayden Point taps in a pass from Victor Hedman in front of Linus Ullmark to tie the game. Jake Dotchin was credited with the secondary assist on the play.

12:20 - LIGHTNING GOAL - Braydon Coburn scores shorthanded on a two-on-one feed from Vladislav Namestnikov to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead. Alex Killorn registers the secondary assist on the goal.

 

End of Period

 

Goal Summary:

BUF: None

TB: 5:59 - 1-1 TIE - Brayden Point (17) Assists: Victor Hedman (56), Jake Dotchin (11); 12:20 - 2-1 Lightning - Braydon Coburn (SH) (5) Assists: Namestnikov (18), Killorn (17)

 

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 7:12 - Jack Eichel - Slashing (2 min.); 12:45 - Zemgus Girgensons - Slashing (2 min.); 14:58 - William Carrier - Boarding (2 min.)

TB: 10:26 - J.T. Brown - High Sticking (2 min.)

 

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 5 (12), TB - 14 (27)

 

 

Third Period:

11:17 - SABRES GOAL - Evander Kane burries a pass from Brian Gionta as he streaks to the net for his 28th goal of the season. Ryan O'Reilly registers the other assist on the game-tying goal.

18:36 - LIGHTNING GOAL - A pass attempt from Brayden Point ricochets off the skate of Rasmus Ristolainen and behind Linus Ullmark for his second goal of the game. Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman are given the assists on the goal.

19:59 - LIGHTNING GOAL - Victor Hedman scores an empty net goal from his own zone. Stralman and Point are credited with the assists.

 

End of Game

Tampa Bay 4, Buffalo 2

 

Goal Summary:

BUF: 11:17 - 2-2 TIE - Evander Kane (28) Asissts: Brian Gionta (20), Ryan O'Reilly (35)

FLA: 18:36 - 3-2 Lightning - Brayden Point (18) Assists: Nikita Kucherov (45), Anton Stralman (16); 19:59 - 4-2 Lightning - Victor Hedman (16) Assists: Anton Stralman (17), Point (22)

 

Penalty Summary:

BUF: None

TB: None

 

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 16 (28), TB - 10 (37)

 

Post-Game Audio:

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