Patrick Maroon (Big Gourde) and Yanni Gourde (Little Gourde) combined for three goals and 10 shots in the win. Victor Hedman and Mathieu Joseph also provided some puck-in-net, while Curtis McElhinney stopped 40 of 43 in the win.
It was a strong night all-around as the Lightning put up 40 shots and controlled 60% of the expected goals. They won the quality over quantity battle and came away with a commanding victory. The team now flies back home to Florida before playing the New York Rangers at home on Thursday night.
It was a slow start to the game for the Bolts. They were getting out-shot 6-12 halfway through the period. After a half-hearted offensive chance by Cedric Paquette, Yanni Gourde, and Pat Maroon, they lost possession and gave up a 3-on-2 rush that turned into a 4-on-2 rush because the forwards were slow to get back. After the initial rush was botched by the Sabres, they retrieved the puck and the shot from Marcus Johansson was banged home by Sam Reinhart. There was a moment for a review when McElhinney knocked the post off its mooring, but the puck was clearly going in anyway so they called it a goal.
With Brandon Montour in the box for roughing, Gourde and Maroon made up for their earlier gaffe on the power play when Gourde’s shot from the top of the circle ricocheted off Colin Miller, off Pat Maroon, and in. The second unit’s goal is their fourth of the season.
The Lightning lost the shot attempts battle in the first period, but as Alan says, they got way better chances per capita than Buffalo did.
Numbers after 1 for TB v BUF. Big difference between shot quantity in quality in the first 20 minutes. Buffalo lead in shots but Tampa got much better chances and lead in xG. pic.twitter.com/cRaEAS4acY— Replacement Level Analyst (@loserpoints) November 9, 2019
Right near the start of the period, Johansson took an interference penalty, sending the Lightning to the power play again. Right off the opening faceoff in the offensive zone, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov exchanged passes in the top of the zone before Hedman ripped a one-timer perfectly into the top corner. Hedman was questionable to play this weekend when he arrived in Sweden on Monday, but he worked his butt off, made it into the lineup, and has scored in front of his family, friends, and countrymen.
In front of the net, Rasmus Ristolainen hit Alex Volkov, then unexpectedly hit Stamkos into his goalie, taking an interference penalty. On the power play, the Lightning caused a scramble in front of the net. When the puck squirted loose into the slot, Stamkos took a rip at it, but the puck bounced off Hutton’s mask and wide. So close!
After Gourde won a scramble draw against the Jack Eichel line, Kevin Shattenkirk blasted the puck on net and caused a massive scrum in front. The scrum — mostly caused by Maroon — had the Sabres scrambling, and after three or four chances banging the puck against Hutton’s pad, Maroon was able to lift the puck up and in.
It wasn’t the best start to the second period the Lightning could’ve wanted, but they came on strong and really controlled the play by the end. The goal with less than a minute to go in the second period was fully earned.
Lightning still hold the xG lead. Would be nice to see them close strong here. pic.twitter.com/HH3zHPxAwY— Replacement Level Analyst (@loserpoints) November 9, 2019
Another Swedish goal, Victor Olofsson split the defense and buried his own rebound to bring the Sabres back within one early in the third period. The Lightning weren’t as alert as they should’ve been, and this goal acted as a blast of cold water to wake them up. The Lightning made good with their mid-period push with two goals right away.
While Buffalo was on a commercial break, the Lightning fourth line won yet another faceoff and Gourde scored his second goal of the Global Series. Casey Mittelstadt skated past the puck off the faceoff and Gourde beat Jake McCabe to the puck and pushed it up and past Hutton.
Barely a minute later, Mathieu Joseph broke the game open. Rasmus Dahlin turned the puck over to Anthony Cirelli, who threw it on for Alex Killorn in front. He was able to find Joseph on the weak side for an easy tap in.
Later in the period, Paquette and the Sabres (mostly Johansson, who cross-checked him) started jawing at each other. A scrum followed after a whistle and Maroon got two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and Paquette was given a 10-minute game misconduct. That second penalty is likely just the referees wanting to get Paquette out of the game so neither he nor the Sabres can start anything worse in the dying minutes.
A couple minutes later, Eichel and Erik Cernak got into it themselves. Somehow, Eichel stayed in the game, but Cernak and Reinhart (?) got kicked out.
And of course, Eichel scored with the net empty. There was an official review where Jon Cooper and the whole Lightning bench thought the play was offside, but the referees called it a good goal. Shame for McElhinney to get that goal against, but he should be quite happy with his second win of the season.
With the net empty, Maroon was this close to scoring a hat trick. Gah!!
This is how close Maroon was to the hat trick pic.twitter.com/lxIllTY8uu— Jeremy Houghtaling (@JGHoughtaling) November 9, 2019
- Right off the bat, I was annoyed with the Lightning fourth line of Gourde, Paquette, Maroon after their lack of effort on the first goal of the game. Boy, was I wrong about them from that minute onward. They were fast, diligent, and they combined for three goals in the most crucial moments of the game.
- Maroon was dogged all over the blue paint and really showed what kind of dynamic he can bring to this roster. Paquette wasn’t great, but he was quiet in his own zone and allowed his linemates to feed off each other offensively. And Gourde was all over the puck today, winning puck battles, fighting for position, and going hard to the net at all times. I liked his game a lot.
- This game also birthed “Big Gourde, Little Gourde” in the Raw Charge offices and on Twitter
Family picture of Gourde and Maroon. pic.twitter.com/OHL2Kunrzu— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) November 9, 2019
I'm not at my computer at the moment so a really sketch version on my phone was the best I could do pic.twitter.com/vS7w1r6jTQ— ♀️Lauren Kelly ♀️ (@laurkelly24) November 9, 2019
My three stars of the game...— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) November 9, 2019
⚡Big Gourde... I mean... Maroon