NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Tampa Bay
(Thursday, March 18th)
Final Score: Buffalo 6, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Jason Pominville picked up his second career hat trick, as the Buffalo Sabres found some road success with a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
Buffalo had lost 10 of its last 11 on the road, going 1-7-3 over that span, with the only victory coming in overtime against the Rangers. Additionally, the Sabres had dropped the first two contests of their current five-game trip, but on Thursday they built a 4-0 lead on the way to recording the victory.
Derek Roy finished with a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who had lost their last three overall. Ryan Miller made 23 saves.
Steve Downie and Vincent Lecavalier scored for the Lightning, who have lost three in a row -- all at home. Antero Niittymaki gave up five goals on 27 shots in the setback.
"We just looked very nervous. I thought we were ready to play, and we just looked nervous. That's on me," said Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet. "With every game, there's pressure to win it. Some people react differently; you get wound up. Sometimes you get too wound up."
Pominville got his first tally 5:19 into the game with the Sabres on the power play. From the slot, he one-timed Roy's touch pass from the right circle past Niittymaki for a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Myers made it 2-0 at 13:56, when his shot hit the skate of Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman before going in. Pominville netted his second about 2 1/2 minutes later, as Buffalo went into the first intermission with a three- goal cushion.
Roy then capitalized on a mistake by the Lightning's Steven Stamkos nearly midway through the second period. With the hosts on the power play, Stamkos tried to bat down Pominville's clearing attempt at the blue line while on his knees. The puck bounced several feet to his left, where Roy picked it up as Stamkos unsuccessfully flailed to get his stick on it.
Roy charged up-ice on a 2-on-1 and tried to feed Pominville on the left side, but Lightning defenseman Kurtis Foster got his stick on the puck. However, it deflected back to Roy, who dragged a shot over the goal line at 9:25.
The Lightning got their first goal 8:06 into the third, and Lecavalier scored on the power play with 2:38 to play. But Thomas Vanek scored on an empty net less than a minute later, and Pominville completed his hat trick in the final minute.
Pominville recorded his only other regular season hat trick on January 14, 2006. He also had one in the 2006 playoffs...Stamkos had two assists for Tampa Bay...The Sabres lead the four-game season series, 3-0. The final contest between the clubs is March 27 in Buffalo.
03/19 02:19:05 ET