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Sabres vs. Lightning recap: Strong first period leads to 4-1 Tampa win

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The Sabres have now lost to the Lightning three times this season.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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The Lightning dominated the first period - not necessarily in all categories, but certainly on the scoreboard. While Tampa only outshot Buffalo 11-8 in the first, they left with a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Stamkos, Johnson, and Kucherov. The Sabres had a few defensive lapses, and Linus Ullmark finally looked like the rookie he was, and was pulled for Chad Johnson during the first intermission.

Johnson would fare much better, though he wouldn't have much more work, stopping all ten Lightning shots through the final two periods, but the Sabres couldn't get anything past Lightning netminder Andrey Vasilevskiy. Well, almost anything - the lone bright spot for the Sabres tonight was yet another top-10 Jack Eichel goal. Eichel now has five goals, all at home, and all of the jaw-dropping variety.

Aside from Eichel, however, none of the other Sabres forwards or defensemen could find the back of the net despite putting 31 shots on net. The refs didn't help them out tonight, missing a number of obvious calls for both teams, but a couple of reaaaaally obvious ones against the Sabres in the third. Still, the Sabres dug their own grave in the first period tonight, and will get to try again on Saturday against the Canucks.

Two Questions

1. Can the Sabres take advantage of a struggling Lightning team?

No, and it was more of the other way around. The Lightning dominated the Sabres in the first period on the scoreboard, taking advantage of the chances they had an a struggling Linus Ullmark to go up 3-0, a lead they would never see seriously threatened.

2. Which McGinn will win?

Tye McGinn was a scratch tonight, so Jamie won by default. Although Tye's team won the game, so...

Comment of the Game

Man did nobody eat a whole Buffalo Chicken Pizza before this game or something?

C'mon guys, do your part.

Highlights

Coming soon!