The Sabres made it certain that they would not get shutout by scoringa pair of quick goals early in the opening period. Thomas Vanek and Brad Boyes accounted for the scoring in the opening period.
Vanek moved into a tie with Alexander Mogilny for 10th place on the Sabres’ all-time goal-scoring list with 211.
Boyes’ goal was his first of the season, and Tuesday marked his 500th consecutive game played.
Down 2-0, the Lightning stormed back late in the period. Vincent Lecavalier received a great pass from Martin St. Louis to cut the lead in half.
Steve Downie stepped up for Brett Connolly after he and Kaleta were shoving. Kaleta and Downie dropped the gloves and exchanged a few bombs.
Nate Thompson of the Lightning threw a puck from behind the net that deflected in off of Miller to tie the game.
Steven Stamkos gave Tampa Bay the lead in the second period, and the Sabres struggled to get one by Mathieu Garon.
In fact, the Sabres wouldn’t beat Garon again until the final minute of play. Nathan Gerbe ripped one home, bringing the Sabres back within one, but it was too little, too late.
The Lightning took both ends of the home-and-home series as they improved to 4-3-2. The Sabres, meanwhile, fell to 5-3 on the season, after a chance to take over first place in the Northeast division.
With the loss, the Sabres move to 0-2 on home ice and have the next four games at the First Niagara Center. Buffalo will take on Columbus on Thursday with Jhonas Enroth in net.