Coming into the game with an 0-3 record, the Sabres were looking for a spark at home. An emotional night at the First Niagara Center turned into a disappointing game. The Lightning rallied from behind to force overtime and Alex Killorn won it for Tampa Bay in overtime by a 3-2 score.
The crowd at the First Niagara Center had been waiting for a Sabres goal. Buffalo was shutout in the home opener, and finally Cody Hodgson cashed in on the power play, giving the Sabres a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. It gave the Sabres their first lead of the year, which came after 211 minutes of play.
Everything was going right for Buffalo, but things took a turn in the latter part of the game.
Late in the 3rd period, the Sabres thought they had scored a third goal after a Thomas Vanek deflection, but the whistle was blown as Vanek was called for high sticking. The call was controversial and the Buffalo crowd was not pleased. Just seconds into the power play, the Lightning scored, tying the game at two.
Jhonas Enroth made several key saves throughout the night, keeping the score close. At the other end, Ben Bishop didn’t have as many opportunities, but he played well enough to get the win.
The Sabres finally cashed in the power play after going 0-13 to start the season. Cody Hodgson and Jamie McBain each score with the man advantage. It was McBain’s first goal as a Sabre.
“I think we felt good going into it and obviously we scored two tonight,” McBain said.
The game was filled with action. Steve Ott and Marcus Foligno each dropped the gloves in the first period and Mike Weber did so in the 2nd.
The loss drops the Sabres to 0-3-1 on the season, but they did earn their first point of the year.
The Sabres will remain home and will host the Blue Jackets on Thursday. That game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on MSG.