After a strong shutout performance in Florida two nights ago, the Sabres were on the opposite side of the scoreboard Saturday night in Tampa Bay. The Lightning score three times, including an empty-netter en route to a 3-0 defeat over Buffalo.
With the decision to go with Ryan Miller in net instead of giving Jhonas Enroth the promised start, the Sabres were unable to win their fourth consecutive game.
Miller stopped 23 of 25 shots in goal, but his performance was overlooked because of the inability of the offense to put goals on the board.
The road trip can still be viewed as a success as the Sabres earned six out of a possible eight points. The Sabres were flat and looked like a team that had been traveling a lot.
To add insult injury, Tyler Ennis left the game early in the first period after he slid into the post and jammed his left ankle. The Sabres are calling it a lower-body injury and are unsure of when he return.
The Lightning improved to 3-2-2 with the win and have now won two in a row. These two teams will meet again on Tuesday in Buffalo for the second half of the home and home set.
Pavel Kubina got Tampa Bay on the board early in the second period with a shot from the point that found its way past Ryan Miller.
From there on out, the Lightning tightened up in the neutral zone, playing the trap and keeping the Sabres off the board.
Off a turnover, Martin St. Louis received a pass and was all alone in front of Miller. St. Louis deked out the Sabres goaltender and put his team up 2-0.
With the goaltender pulled, the Sabres were unable to apply much pressure in the offensive zone. Victor Hedman put the finishing touches on the game when he received a breakaway with a gaping net in front of him.
Mathieu Garon stopped all 21 shots for Tampa Bay, earning the shutout and helping the Lightning get a much needed two points.
Christian Ehrhoff had possibly his worst night defensively as a Sabre so far, posting a -3 on the night. However, when you lose 3-0, there are not going to be many good statistics to look at.
The Sabres drop to 5-2 on the season, and have allowed 13 goals in seven games while scoring 20. Buffalo has also played just one game on home ice, which could help them in the next couple of weeks.
The Sabres will head home to start a five game homestand, which begins on Tuesday when they host Tampa Bay. Columbus, Florida, Philadelphia and Calgary will also pay a visit to the First Niagara Center.
Jhonas Enroth is expected to start in goal Tuesday against Columbus.
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