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Game 8: Sabres vs. Lightning Preview

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The Sabres finish off the Florida road trip with a trip to Tampa Bay to face the Lightning.  With their last effort against the Panthers, the Sabres need to finish strong against a team that handled the Sharks in their last game.  The Lightning scored in the first thirty seconds against the Sharks and never let off the gas pedal as they defeated them 5-2.  The Sabres scored three goals in the first five minutes of the first period as they defeated the Panthers 5-1.  

The Lightning are off to a decent start with Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos leading the way.  Stamkos has 10 points on the season which is second on the team behind St. Louis with 12 points.  The Lightning are 3-3-2 on the season which is good for 10th place in the conference and third in the Southeast Division.  Mike Smith is going to be in the net for the Lightning after their impressive game against the Sharks.  Also on the playing for the Lightning is Drew Miller, Ryan's brother.  Miller has no points in the eight games he has played for the Lightning but is looking to score his first point of the season against his brother:

"It's exciting to play against him. I've done it once already, and no big chances in that game - just a couple of rebounds and jamming at him with my stick.

"Hopefully, (tonight) will change and I'll get a couple of good shots on him and try to get one by him."

The Sabres are going to start Miller in net and there will be no lineup changes since the game in Florida.  In this game, the Sabres should be able to handle Mike Smith in net and should get off the fast start they got off to against Florida.  Thomas Vanek made his comeback into the lineup with the fifth goal in the second period and is tied with Clarke MacArthur for the team lead in goals at this point.  Tyler Myers is still impressing with his second goal of the season on Wednesday. 

Keys To The Game:

Buffalo:  Continue playing how they have played.  The Sabres should not change their style of play because at this point, it is still working.  Consistently rolling four lines and being able to throw the body around more often than not is giving this team more opportunities in the offense.  

Tampa Bay:  Get on the scoreboard quickly.  The Sabres have been in Florida for most of the week and could be experiencing the lag of effort that usually happens with the nice weather in Florida.  If Buffalo comes out flat footed to start the game, Tampa Bay should start quickly to catch the Sabres off guard.