The final score was 4-2 but that does not represent this game at all. Take away the two goals that Buffalo gave to Tampa (yeah I said it, gave to Tampa) and this was a complete blowout. Buffalo was by far the better team tonight but once again they had a couple of brain farts that always seem to end up in their net.
The first Tampa goal was scored by Martin St. Louis after Drew Stafford gave the puck away in the Buffalo zone. Stafford had plenty of time to make a pass in the zone but missed his teammate and put it right on to the tape of Steven Stamkos. Stamkos fed a quick pass to St. Louis and he one-timed it by Miller. The second Tampa goal was scored by Mark Recchi after Ryan Miller allowed a juicy rebound. The disturbing part was that Miller didn't seem to react after he allowed the rebound.
Tampa had only two more real good chances and they both came early in the second period. My memory is fuzzy but I believe that Steven Stamkos had one of the scoring chances and the other may have been St. Louis. Miller made big saves on both attempts to help the Sabres stay in the game.
Buffalo took advantage of those chances and scored the games last four goals in a 4-2 victory. It was a much different recipe than the victory on Monday night. On Monday they received contributions from all four lines but tonight it was the power play that was the story. Drew Stafford scored a power play goal in the final minute of the first period and Thomas Vanek scored a power play goal in the final minute of the second period.
Thomas Vanek always seems to play well against the Lightning and tonight was no different. He scored twice tonight to put him in the league lead with 22 goals. Vanek seemed to be all over the ice and two or three real good chances in addition to his two goals.
Die by the Blade 3 Stars
- Thomas Vanek - he was a beast tonight and continued to stay hot against the Lightning with two goals.
- Jason Pominville - two assists and sealed the victory with a short handed empty net goal with 13 seconds left.
- Ryan Miller - bounced back after a suspect first period.
It's time to give thanks to those who shared with us during the Sabres 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. A special thanks goes out to ccthemovieman, Joan O. and Fucilli5 for joining us tonight. Let's hope we have even more people here for the game Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Harry Neale Quote of the Game
It was another weak effort by our friend Harry Neale. I guess like the Sabres usually do, Harry plays down to the opponent and is saving his best for the leagues better teams.
Maybe they should call him Are-three-can
Made in reference to Tampa Forward Evgeny Artyukhin standing next to Nathan Gerbe. Gerbe is listed at 5'6" and Artyukhin is listed at 6'6".