NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 14th
(All times Eastern)
Tampa Bay Lightning (17-21-3) at Buffalo Sabres (17-19-6), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A fourth victory in six games on Saturday gave the Buffalo
Sabres' playoff chances a little bit of life. To keep those hopes alive, the
Sabres will have to find a way to pick up a rare victory on consecutive days
as they play host on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Sabres had been outscored 9-2 over a two-game slide, but one goal was
enough to beat the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Jhonas Enroth made 29
saves to record his third career shutout in the 1-0 victory, while Christian
Ehrhoff scored the lone goal 17 seconds into the third period.
Ehrhoff was credited with his fifth goal of the season when his shot from the
left point careened off the end boards and deflected off the right pad of
Flyers' goaltender Steve Mason.
It was the kind of break that the Sabres needed as they sit in a tie for 10th
overall in the Eastern Conference with the New Jersey Devils. They sit six
points behind the New York Rangers for the eighth seed with six games to play,
one less than the Rangers.
That leaves Buffalo almost no room for error in this back end of games on
consecutive days. The Sabres improved to 4-2-2 in the first game of such sets
with Saturday's win, but have just a 1-5-1 record in the second contest.
"It's again, focusing on what we have to do: work hard. Especially now with
the limited amount of games left in the regular season. We're making a push
here," said Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta. "Everyone still believes and that's
the way to play it. There's no give up and there's not a chance in hell we're
going to quit."
The Lightning didn't show any quit on Saturday despite being nine points out
of a playoff spot with seven to play. They trailed 4-0 and 5-1 in their
meeting with the Washington Capitals, but rallied to force overtime before
suffering a 6-5 loss.
Martin St. Louis and Richard Panik both scored their second goals of the game
during a three-goal third period, while Teddy Purcell scored the tying goal
with 2:35 on the clock.
However, Vincent Lecavalier took a slashing call in overtime, which set up
Mike Green's power-play goal for the Caps that handed the Lightning their
second straight defeat and a 2-3-2 mark over their last seven.
"You take it as a loss. Ultimately, we ended up losing the game but you can
sit here and say a lot of good came out of that loss," said Tampa Bay head
coach Jon Cooper. "We scratched and clawed back to get a point, ultimately we
didn't finish them off. It's tough when you take the penalty and half the
overtime is going to be a 4-on-3."
Ben Bishop was pulled after one period for giving up three goals on 20 shots
while Mathieu Garon made 15-of-18 stops the rest of the way. Tom Pyatt had
three assists in the opener of a four-game road trip.
The Lightning and Sabres have split their previous two meetings this season,
both in Tampa. The Bolts have won two straight and three of their previous
four in Buffalo.
04/14 10:11:53 ET