The Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lighting met for the first time this season last night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Sabres were on a 4 game losing streak and have won just 3 games in their last 10, leaving them holding on to 14th place in the standings. Tampa Bay is not looking much better with a 3-6-1 record in their last 10 games but are still clinging to a 3rd place spot in the conference standings.
Buffalo has been struggling all season long and even with a coaching change has not been able to battle for a full 60 minutes and win a game. Their last win came on February 15 against Boston and since then, they have been on an extreme downward spiral. Fortunately, they found a little bit of magic in Tampa and were able to come out with a 2-1 victory.
Tampa was looking to snap their bad luck over the last 10 games and thought they would have a for sure win over the struggling Sabres. Only 1:24 into the game, they had Buffalo on their heels with a Steven Stamkos wrist shot, his 14 goal of the year. With no other significant production from their top forwards, that would be Tampa’s only goal of the game and their losing streak has gone to 2 in a row and 7 in the last 10.
With goals from Cody Hodgson, at the halfway point of the first, and Tyler Myers, just under a minute into the third, the Buffalo Sabres would finally find that winning touch in Florida. While it would not come easy, especially in the last 5 minutes, Buffalo was able to hold on to their 2-1 lead throughout the rest of the third period, something that they have been unable to accomplish in recent games.
Ryan Miller got his 19th start and 7th win of the season for Buffalo and Mathieu Garon got his 6th start and 6 loss of the season for Tampa.
Buffalo continues their Florida road trip with their next game against the Florida Panthers and Tampa plays their next game on the road against the New York Rangers, both on Thursday.