NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Buffalo
(Wednesday, January 6th)
Final Score: Buffalo 5, Tampa Bay 3
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Rookie defenseman Tyler Myers set the tone with a goal 23 seconds in and Buffalo scored three times in the opening two-plus minutes before holding on for a 5-3 win over Tampa Bay at HSBC Arena.
The Northeast Division-leading Sabres logged a season-high fifth straight win and got goals from five different players while Ryan Miller made 36 saves.
Jochen Hecht, Clarke MacArthur, Drew Stafford and Jason Pominville had goals for Buffalo, which last won five straight during a successful six-game stretch from December 12-22, 2007.
Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning, who entered winners in five of their last seven games with at least a point in four straight (3-0-1).
Mike Smith was tagged for all five scores on 35 shots.
Buffalo scored three times in the first 2:11 of the game to take control as Myers beat Smith only 23 ticks in and Hecht and MacArthur found the back of the net exactly a minute apart moments later.
"I couldn't believe it, we were really frazzled at that point," St. Louis said of Buffalo's early start. "You can't dig yourself in a hole like this."
The Bolts came back with a pair of scores before the close of the period, separated by only 82 seconds. St. Louis' slap shot got things started at 12:03 and a Hedman wrister made it 3-2 after 20 minutes.
"We didn't give up a lot really, we made a few mistakes that wound up in the net," said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. "We made some mistakes, but made them on our toes."
The Sabres pushed their lead to 4-2 on Stafford's power-play deflection in the low slot off a Derek Roy centering pass just 1:19 into the second. However, Tampa Bay cut it back to one as Lecavalier stuffed the rebound off a point shot behind Miller at 5:34.
Buffalo got another behind Smith less than two minutes later for a 5-3 affair. Toni Lydman skated down the left side and lifted a backhand shot on net that was knocked down, and Pominville managed to direct the puck over the goal line with an inadvertent skate blade -- a goal that was reviewed and upheld.
After a raucous start, Pominville's goal proved to be the last as Miller posted 28 saves over the final 40 minutes to assure a Sabres win.
Buffalo has a 15-5-4 record at HSBC this year and picked up a third straight home win to kick off a three-game residency that continues Friday versus Toronto...Buffalo's Tim Connolly recorded two assists and now has a point in seven straight games (five goals, six assists)...St. Louis extended his points streak to eight games for the Bolts (four goals, seven assists)...Tampa Bay began a three-game road trip Wednesday and heads to New Jersey on Friday...The Lightning fell to 6-11-5 on the road...The Sabres have taken four of five and nine of the last 11 overall in the series...Lydman and Craig Rivet also had two assists each for Buffalo.
01/07 02:25:00 ET