Tampa Bay (30-32-12) at Buffalo (40-23-10)
The Sabres have clinched a playoff spot with a victory against Tampa Bay. The Lightning are almost in a must win situation for the rest of their games.
The Sabres have won 17 of the last 20 games against the Lightning and hope to add to those numbers tonight. The Sabres started the scoring with a shot from Craig Rivet. The puck deflected off of Paul Gaustad and into the net for a 1-0 lead. Vincent Lecavalier took a five minute spearing penalty, which Buffalo took advantage of.
Derek Roy and Jochen Hecht scored two goals in 50 seconds to put Buffalo up by three. Nittymaki was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots. The Sabres continued putting on the pressure with more goals in the second period.
Pominville, Roy, and Mair all tallied a goal halfway through the second period, giving the Sabres a 6-0 lead over the Lightning. Steve Downie broke Patrick Lalime’s shutout with a minute left in the period.
Derek Roy recorded the second hat trick of the season for the Sabres as he ripped a shot past Smith, giving Buffalo a 7-1 lead.