The Buffalo Sabres got off to a good start in the game scoring first. Zemgus Girgensons made a nice pass on the wall to a streak Nick Baptiste. He beat Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman to the net with his speed and slipped the puck between the legs of Louis Domingue.
They took the play to the visitors for a few minutes after the goal. Then a penalty woke up Tampa Bay. Yanni Gourde tied the game at one with the man advantage after a slick pass from Nikita Kucherov.
The two clubs would head to the first intermission tied at one. The Lightning held a 14-9 lead in shots.
Buffalo started the middle frame with the power play and capitalized right away. After some nice puck movement, Sam Reinhart stayed hot scoring his 12th of the season.
The majority of the period was controlled by the Sabres. They were skating with the Lightning and forcing them to play in their defensive zone.
The fans even started to get into this game after the Sabres did a great job killing of a nearly full two minute 5 on 3.
In classic Sabres fashion the roll your eyes goal came. Chad Johnson went for a skate and mixed up a pass with Victor Antipin. The puck ended up on the stick of Vlad Namestnikov and he put the puck into the empty cage to tie the game at two.
They didn’t let the goal stop the momentum and kept coming. They took the lead back just over two minutes later. Scott Wilson deflected a Casey Nelson point shot into the net to make it 3-2.
Buffalo headed into the final period with a one-goal lead and kept the foot on the pedal. Three minutes into the third Ryan O’Reilly increased the lead to two goals with the second power-play goal of the game. He picked up a rebound off the back wall and put it by Domingue.
Through the first eight minutes of the final frame, the Sabres were outshooting the Lightning 7-2.
The Bolts made the game interesting with just under nine minutes left. Rochester native Ryan Callahan got his club back within one.
Buffalo stayed with their and didn’t panic after the score got close. The limited the opportunities and allowed Johnson to do his job.
Reinhart added an empty-net goal with seven seconds left for his second of the game and to seal this one for the Sabres.
Final Score: Sabres 5, Lightning 3
Shots on Goal: Sabres 33 | Lightning 29
Sabres Goal Scorers: Baptiste (2), Reinhart (12, 13), Wilson (4) and O’Reilly (18)
Lightning Goal Scorers: Gourde (22), Namestnikov (19) and Callahan (3)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Sam Reinhart (2 G)
2. Ryan O’Reilly (1 G, 2 A)
3. Rasmus Ristolainen (1 A)
Comment of the Game
Those fellows in the blue uniforms look like they ‘ve played this game before
Massive call up from Rochester? or did the boys finally decide to earn their pay checks
Go Sabres! (and take the Bills with you)