Lightning best Sabres in goalie battle


The Sabres put 34 shots on net, but could not solve Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in a 2-0 loss Tuesday night in Buffalo.

Robin Lehner was solid for Buffalo as he turned aside 24 of 26 Tampa Bay shot attempts, but the Sabres continued their scoring woes as they got shut out in back-to-back games. Buffalo has now only scored one goal in its last trio of games.

“We have to have more pride in this dressing room & we have to find a way.” – Marco Scandella

Vasilevskiy stopped all 34 shots for his sixth career shutout and his league-leading 16th win this season.

Mikhail Sergachev opened the scoring for Tampa Bay on the man advantage with just 3:31 left in the first period. After Jordan Nolan got called for hooking, the Lightning had a nice passing display around the boards that ended with Tyler Johnson feeding Sergachev for a bomb from the point. The puck deflected off of Johan Larsson’s stick at the top of the circle and past Robin Lehner for the former top-10 pick’s sixth goal of the season.

The Lightning doubled its lead when Dan Girardi’s blast from the top of the right circle deflected in for his first goal of the season, and as a member of the Lightning. Vladislav Namestnikov gathered the puck at the red line extended and shifted it back to Girardi, who’s slap-shot deflected off the inside of Marco Scandella’s leg and by Lehner for a 2-0 Tampa lead.

Buffalo was aggressive late in the 3rd period, as Phil Housley decided to pull Lehner with a lengthy 4:19 remaining in the game.

The Sabres best scoring chance came when Matt Moulson and Evander Kane combined on an opportunity with just over two minutes remaining. Moulson tried a backhand shot and Kane had an chance on the rebound, but Buffalo couldn’t squeeze the puck past Vasilevskiy.

“If you’re a goal scorer and you’re not scoring goals, you should be pissed off. You should be throwing every shot you can at the net.” – Kane

Kane paced Buffalo with seven shots on goal, while Sam Reinhart added five for the Sabres.

Buffalo finishes its homestand Friday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins as the first of a home-and-home set this weekend. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at KeyBank Center.




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