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Lightning Doesn’t Strike in Buffalo

Sabres topple Tampa 5-1 thanks to Anderson, Olofsson

Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Score: 5-1 Buffalo!

Shots: TBL 36, BUF 25

Buffalo Sabres Goals: Victor Olofsson (2), Drake Caggiula, Vinnie Hinostroza, Robert Hagg (EN)

Tampa Bay Lightning Goals: Alex Killorn

Plus-1: A Quick Start

We all knew this game wasn't going to be an easy one. There’s a reason the Lightning have won the Cup in consecutive years, and many pieces of that championship-caliber team are back this year. Getting an early jump on them was important for the Sabres, and they wasted no time with Olofsson’s rebound goal just 1:41 in. (The Lightning have allowed the first goal in each of their games so far this season!)

Plus-1/Minus-1: That Second Period

The second period started off poorly for the Sabres, who were unable to sustain any zone time and failed to register a shot on goal for the first 10 minutes. With Tampa nipping at their heels, Buffalo was lucky to keep it tied.

The plus, however, is Drake Caggiula’s beauty of a breakaway that broke the stalemate, just shortly after Tampa’s own #91 (Steven Stamkos) failed to score on a breakaway.

Minus-1: The Officiating

Have to wait and see what NHL Player Safety has to say about Steven Stamkos’ hit to Dylan Cozens’ head. There was no penalty called to Stamkos on the play; the lone penalty was to Erik Cernak for cross-checking. Cozens, meanwhile, was left bleeding.

Final Thoughts

What a game for the Sabres. It wasn’t always pretty and it wasn’t always easy, but the end result is two points over the consecutive Stanley Cup champs. Craig Anderson looked half his age and made some great saves over the course of the evening. Rasmus Asplund displayed selflessness in passing it over to his former Amerks teammate Olofsson for the empty-netter. Zemgus Girgensons and Kyle Okposo did a good job in standing up for their goaltender after he got shoved by a Lightning player. Tage Thompson even potted two assists!

It’s the final home game for a bit for the Sabres, who are now heading out west for some #SabresAfterDark. It begins on Thursday night in Anaheim with a 10 p.m. puck drop!