Game 8: Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-0.

Could this be the start of a trend?

"We're not where we want to be yet. We're on our way but we have a long way to go." - head coach Guy Boucher

The Bolts have put together two impressive total team victories in a row, establishing their first winning streak of the season in the process, by shutting out the Sabres in front of an announced sellout crowd of 19,204 at the St. Pete Times Forum. One of the league's true powerhouses, Buffalo was coming off a 3-0 victory of their own, over the Florida Panthers on Thursday. However, a tight defensive battle by both teams eventually tilted decisively in favor of the Lightning.

The game was scoreless after one period but defenseman Pavel Kubina put the Lightning on the board at 4:51 of the second on his first goal of the season, with assists from Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell. The score remained 1-0 until Martin St. Louis scored at 8:30 in the third, with help from Vincent Lecavalier and Brett Connolly. Victor Hedman tallied the final score with an empty net score at 18:33 on an assist from St. Louis.

Mathieu Garon, making his second consecutive start (and third in four games), stopped 21 shots en route to recording the team's first shutout of the season.

The disciplined style of play seen in the team's last game, a 4-1 victory over the New York


, was evident again as the Lightning only drew four penalties, all successfully killed off. Buffalo only drew two and the Lightning failed to cash in on either power play chance. They registered 26 shots on goal while holding the Sabres to 21.

"Our entire team, our leaders, everybody realized just because we were good our previous year it's not just going to happen. We were good because we worked so hard at the details and defense always comes first in our success." - Boucher

The Lightning's next game will be Tuesday, October 25th, when they travel to Buffalo to play the Sabres again.

Game notes:

  • This was the fourth time this season (eight games) that the Lightning have been held scoreless in the first period.
  • It was also the second consecutive game in which they held an opponent scoreless in the first period.
  • Marc Andre-Bergeron's point streak ended at five games. However, after notching assists tonight, Purcell and Stamkos each currently have three game streaks of their own.
  • The ceiling-mounted Tesla coils, that generate bolts of "lightning" inside the St. Pete Times Forum, made their much-anticipated debut during pre-game festivities.
  • Lecavalier's assist in the second period was the 445th and the 799th point of his career.
  • The Lightning wore their alternate "third jersey", the blue, silver and black version with "Bolts" written diagonally across the chest that they have worn for the past two seasons. These uniforms feature the previous version of the team's logo on shoulder patches. The team was not allowed to alter the design of these jerseys so that logo will be worn every time the team wears that uniform this season.
  • Tonight's "Community Hero" was Richard J. Spayde. He is the Co-founder and President of the Cure on Wheels Foundation, which raises money to help individuals and their families cope with cancer through an annual bike race, an initiative that has raised over $300,000 to date through organized cycling events held in conjunction with Moffitt Cancer Center and All Children's Hospital. Spayde, a survivor of Acte Myeloid Leukemia, has donated over 1,000 hours of personal community service within the Tampa Bay area./