Sabres close 2014 with ugly loss against Tampa

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Buffalo faced-off against Tampa Bay looking to avoid dropping their second straight game. Unfortunately the Sabres fell to the Lightning 5-1, and dropped to 14-21-3, good for 28th in the league.

Tampa Bay opened up the scoring eight minutes into the first period. Ondrej Pala picked up a Matt Moulson turnover high in the Sabres slot and laid a perfect pass over to Matt Carle who rifled a shot past a screened Jhonas Enroth.

The Sabres, and their league-worst power play unit were able to be effective against an average Tampa Bay penalty kill unit. Tyler Ennis struck on their first opportunity by firing a slapshot off of a Tampa defenseman and past the rookie goaltender, Andrej Vasilevskiy.

With a 1 to 1 scoreline at the end of the first period, the game appeared to be up for grabs. From that point on it was all-Tampa. The Lightning rattled off 4 in a row to take a commanding 4 goal lead over the Sabres midway through the third period with goals from Ondrej Palat, Brett Connolly and two from Nikita Kucherov.

On a night where the Sabres would need a stellar performance from Jhonas Enroth to counter the second best offensive team in the league, they did not receive one. Enrtoh game up five goals on 25 shots for a .800 save percentage.

Simply put, the Sabres were not good enough tonight. They only managed 11 shots on goal in the entire game, one in the third period in which they entered being down a goal. Despite leading in face-off wins, hits, and blocked shots, they could not take advantage of their work and execute offensively.

The Sabres will look to rebound, and avoid dropping three straight when they are back in action on Friday as they host the Florida Panthers. Puck drop is at 7:00pm. The game can be seen on MSG.

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