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Game 19: Tampa Bay Lightning versus Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 2-1 Tuesday night.

The Lightning wanted to make the most of this last home game before an extended road trip, and they certainly had their chances, but they came up short.

“We got 19 scoring chances against (giving up) eight. That’s the biggest disparity we’ve had against any team this year…our number of chances can’t be any higher.” – Lightning head coach Guy Boucher

Other numbers on the stat sheet would seem to back that up. The Lightning outshot Buffalo 31-21 and found themselves with six fruitless power plays (including a :45 stretch of five-on-three in the second period) while only being shorthanded once.

Things started out on a positive note as Steven Stamkos extended his goals-scored streak to six games, scoring at the 1:24 mark on a rebound, with assists from Teddy Purcell and Cory Conacher.

The Sabres tied the game at 10:02 when Cody Hodgson scored with help from Andrej Sekera and Thomas Vanek

The period ended tied at one.

The Lightning outshot the Sabres 14-10 in the second period but neither team was able to find the back of the net, keeping the score tied at one after two full periods.

The opening minute of the third period found the Sabres taking the lead when Tyler Myer scored what would be the game winner at 0:52. Vanek and Hodgson added the assists.

Buffalo’s Ryan Miller stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced while Mathieu Garon turned away 19 of 21 on the night.

“I thought (Miller) played a good game tonight. I know he’s been struggling as of late. He had a solid game tonight.” – Lightning forward Steven Stamkos

The Lightning will be in action again on Thursday when they start a four-game road trip with a visit to the New York Rangers.

Game notes:

  • Stat of the night? This was Buffalo head coach Ron Rolston’s first NHL win, having recently replaced longtime Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff.
  • In addition to his goals-scored streak of six games, Stamkos extended his points streak to seven games.
  • The Lightning will play their next four games on the road and don’t return to the Tampa Bay Times Forum until March 7th, when they’ll host Winnipeg.
  • Stamkos was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for the period ending February 24th.
  • Garon shut the Sabres out when he faced them last season on October 22nd, his only shutout of the season.
  • The Lightning are the only team in the NHL this season to have three different rookies score game-winning goals (Conacher, Richard Panik and Alex Killorn).
  • The Lightning honored Bill Johnson as the 26th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game. Johnson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Girls Inc. Johnson, a former Pinellas County business owner and parent of two daughters, volunteers a lot of his spare time at Girls Inc., an organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold through life-changing programs. As a mentor and personal coach, Johnson makes sure that female youth learn the proper life skills necessary to lead them down the right path of life by supporting and teaching them. He uses curriculum and resources from Girls Inc. to ensure girls safety and contributes to an overall effort that promotes academic success as well as healthy and active lifestyles. Reflecting on his 40 years of business, Johnson hasn’t forgotten the help that he received along the way, compelling himself to return the favor by sharing his wisdom and time. He teaches female youth by sharing his own stories and business acumen, as well as promoting positive work habits. While volunteering at Girls Inc., Johnson also spends time coaching sports and teaching them different life skills.HERO

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