A goal post in the final minute of the game was the deciding factor in the Sabres 2-1 loss to the Lightning on Saturday night.Both the Lightning and the Sabres came into tonight’s game desperately seeking points to claw back into the eastern conference playoff race.
The Sabres were playing their second game of a back-to-back coming of their come from behind victory against the Dallas Stars on Friday. The Lightning were off last night as they looked to bounce back from a tough 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers.
The first period was evenly matched as both teams played a passive aggressive approach waiting to see if the other team would make a mistake. Both Goaltenders also looked exceptional as they both made some key saves in particular, Ryan Miller’s big save off Steven Stamkos on the powerplay as time was winding down.
The second period was more of the same as both teams were trying to wait each other out however this time the Lightning prevailed. Off a poor clearing attempt by the Sabres, Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman sends a point shot towards Miller, where Steve Downie had all kinds of time and space to slide it under Miller to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead.
Turnovers continued to kill the Sabres in the period as Purcell and Stamkos would get their second two on one in the period but this time Stamkos would be on the receiving end of a pass from Purcell and he goes glove high on Miller to make it 2-0 Lightning.
With one period to go the Sabres tried to mirror their comeback heroics from last night against Dallas. The Sabres start the period off well getting all sorts of chances, none better than a backhand try by Patrick Kaleta right in front of the net who was foiled by Mathieu Garon.
Seven minutes into the third period the Sabres cut the lead in half on a wrist shot from captain Jason Pominville that deflects off a skate and beats Mathieu Garon. The Sabres continued to throw shots towards the Lightning net including a glorious chance by Jason Pominville who was absolutely robbed by Garon’s blocker as he was looking for his second of the game.
The Sabres continued to push for the equalizer in the final minute of play and they almost had as a point shot by Christian Ehrhoff rung right off the crossbar preventing the German defenseman from tieing the game at two a piece.
The Lightning would go on to be the eventual winners of the game and the Sabres saw their three game winning streak come to an end. The Sabres next game is on Tuesday when Zach Parise and the New Jersey Devils come to town. The Sabres currently sit 8 points out of a playoff spot with a game in hand on the eighth place Toronto Maple Leafs.